After quarantine and before leaving Oslo, I had the opportunity to visit the Fram Museum. The museum houses the 125 foot steam and sail powered ship The Fram, which was Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen's (as in the N in NABOS) ship that he sailed into the Arctic over a 3 year journey from 1893-1896. Our route from Norway through the East Siberian Sea covered one similar to Nansen's.

    Fram Route
    Nansen's route on the Fram from 1893-96
    On the deck, a video shows crashing waves and the changing ice conditions, and inside is a recreation of the living conditions. Artifacts surround the ship on several levels. On another level, photographs and diary excerpts chronicle this journey, as well as others by Nansen and Roald Amundsen (the A in NABOS) in the Arctic and Antarctic. The museum is amazing and has taken on new meaning - I may go back and re-visit on my 1 day in Oslo with members of our expedition.

    I wanted to do a little side-by-side comparison between the Fram and the Tryoshnikov. I thought of it as Spy vs. Spy (for those of you old enough to remember Mad magazine), or Epic Rap Battles of History or Science (for the more video minded folks - if you haven't check them out on YouTube), but after consulting with Science Party members over a fierce games of cards, we decided to make it a Battle Ship contest (Remember the old game with the red and white pegs and the plastic battleships or the more modern electronic version?)

    So, here is is: Fram vs. Tryoshnikov

    Overall Ship - Tryoshnikov strikes first - larger, better engines, thicker hull

    Ship hulls
    Fram (top), Tryoshnikov (bottom) - reinforced steel wins.

    Navigation - Tryoshnikov hits again - satellite navigation beats compass and sextant any day.

    Navigation Instuments
    Fram (left), Tryoshnikov (right) - Satellite and auto-pilot instruments made for much easier navigation, especially when stars were not visible during the Arctic summer

    Living Conditions - Hits for both - Fram wins with the piano, but flushable toilets beat pit toilets and no septic system.

    Living Conditions
    Fram (left), Tryoshnikov (right) - modern sanitation (even when it doesn't work every day) is better than little sanitation, although the piano is a nice touch.

    Sleeping Conditions - Tryoshnikov with a dominant strike - You can't beat the view in the Chief Scientist's suite, and even I have a couch.

    Sleeping areas
    Fram (left), Tryoshnikov (right) - Captain's quarters is about 1/4 the size of my room, and the Chief Scientist's suite on the Tryoshnikov is bigger than some of the Fram common areas.

    Lifeboat - Tryoshnikov hits again - covered, engine powered lifeboats are much safer than open oar powered ones.

    Fram (top), Tryoshnikov (bottom) - in an emergency, open boats in high, cold Arctic seas are not ideal

    Scientific Instruments - Tryoshnikov hits, but Fram responds in turn - The effort required to "do science" and take oceanographic measurements with these instruments was amazing.

    Scientific Instruments
    Fram (top), Tryoshnikove (bottom) - technology is impressive, but the skill required to use earlier instruments in extreme conditions is an equal match.

    Clothing - Fram with a direct hit for the wolf-skin fur jacket and leather boots

    Fram (left), Tryoshnikov (right) - While scientist Dr. Laura Whitmore and I model our down parkas out on the ice, the "cool" and functional factor definitely goes to the Fram attire

    Ice Capabilities - Fram - it was designed to overwinter in the thick ice, while the Tryoshnikov was not.

    Ice bound
    Fram (top), Tryoshnikov (bottom) - a model of the Fram trapped in the ice. The photographs in the museum are amazing.

    Final Score - Fram: 4, Tryoshnikov: 6. However, +2 Bonus points for Nansen and the Fram for being such "bad-asses" - there is no way I would get on a ship like that in the Arctic, having to overwinter, fend off polar bears, attempt to go over-ice to the North Pole, etc. These guys were tough!

    Barents Sea
    Weather Summary
    Overcast; Open water, choppy seas
    2.3 C
    Wind Speed


    Jose Flacovitz

    I always learn so much from these posts and am so proud of what you're doing Mr. Pazol. The Fram kind of reminds me of the elementary school I went to back in Michoacán. I wish you a safe journey home.

    Naomi Pazol

    Thank you for educating Jose Flacovitz!