August 18- At sea

We are at sea! The ship just got fuller and more languages are being heard on the decks. We picked up the German science teams in Arkhangelsk at 1:00 this morning and ‘set our sails’ to the northeast! We are hovering the coast of Russia, sailing in the White Sea, soon to pass through the Barents Sea. We are on our way to check on a mooring that was deployed in 2013.

Now that everyone is on board, we had a lifeboat drill and introduction meeting. This is the first time I have been in a lifeboat that feels like a submarine because it is all enclosed. Strapping in reminded me of one of those scary rides at Disneyland where you need both shoulder and lap straps.

During the introduction meeting we meet the Captain, some of the officers, chief and co-chief scientists, and the rest of the Expedition participants. It feels like a little United Nations with several countries being represented- Korea, Finland, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Russia.

There were two wildlife sightings- a hawk and whale. You have to be quick to spot the whales. There was a lot of speculation, but no one was quite sure what type of hawk or whale they were. The whale was small, 3-5 meters (9-15 feet). Maybe a pilot whale?

Another extraordinary sunset this evening!

Breakfast: rice porridge

Lunch: beef vegetable soup, fish, rice and a cucumber, tomato, lettuce, dill salad

Tea Time: beet salad, herring, and oranges

Dinner: beef vegetable soup, baked turkey, cauliflower with cheese, and cabbage slaw

This is the outside of a lifeboat. Why do you think these lifeboats are covered?

This is what the inside of a lifeboat looks like. The lifeboat holds up to 70 people. There are shoulder and lap straps, just like some Disneyland (amusement park) rides.

I am so lucky to have a cabin on the port (left) side so I can still see the sun setting when I am in my cabin.

Good night!