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. 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
Navigation - Tryoshnikov hits again - satellite navigation beats compass and sextant any day.
Living Conditions - Hits for both - Fram wins with the piano, but flushable toilets beat pit toilets and no septic system.
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.
Lifeboat - Tryoshnikov hits again - covered, engine powered lifeboats are much safer than open oar powered ones.
Scientific Instruments - Tryoshnikov hits, but Fram responds in turn - The effort required to "do science" and take oceanographic measurements with these instruments was amazing.
Clothing - Fram with a direct hit for the wolf-skin fur jacket and leather boots
Ice Capabilities - Fram - it was designed to overwinter in the thick ice, while the Tryoshnikov was not.
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!