Well. after more than 36 hours of holding offshore in high waves and winds, we arrived in Kirkenes yesterday morning. Once docked, the first order of business for anyone flying out was a COVID-19 test. Welcome back to (an unfortunate) reality. We scientists would have questioned the test validity if any of us, who had been in total quarantine for 40+ days, tested positive. Fortunately, we're all good to go.

    Earlier in the week, we had the "NABOS 2021 Final Cruise Reports," led by Chief Scientist Igor Polyakov. He was very pleased with the way the cruise went and all that we accomplished: recovering a mooring and data from 2018, setting out 8 new moorings, deploying 3 ITP (Ice Tethered Profilers) buoys and 10 other data buoys, completing 3 ice stations, 104 water sampling stations, 116 CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth./Rosette casts, and more than 1600 water samples (collected by each of the US and Russian teams). All of this was accomplished in sometimes very unexpected, heavy ice conditions, which forced the changing of plans almost daily (and sometimes hourly).

    Igor Polyakov
    Chief Scientist Igor Polyakov can finally smile at the end of the cruise

    In terms of outreach, we had a documentary filmmaker who will be creating a planetarium presentation and several other pieces, and through PolarTREC, I was able to do 10+ class presentations (poor internet resulted in cancelling more), write 35+ journal entries (notifications sent out and shared to 165 people in 13 countries, more than 250 faculty, and about 500 students), coordinate with the GLOBE Program about clouds and Float Your Boat to deploy wooden student boats, and plan for an upcoming PolarConnect even in early November. I am again humbled to have been able to take part in this experience.

    But, it wasn't always work. We did have a lot of fun and like any good party, we covered many of the "essentials." (Warning: The following photographs ARE suitable for work and will not incriminate anyone - too much).

    We had drinking:

    Drinking Samples
    Tasting the Arctic Ocean water. The warning on the Board of Lies came a bit too late.

    We had food:

    Hangar Food
    Food in "Igor's Cafe" in the hangar for when people missed meals. There was an abundance of herring, sardines, and Coca-Cola left over. The Nutella was in very short supply.
    Why the hotdogs had hotdog characters stamped on them is beyond me! I think they'd be frightening to small children.

    We had gambling:

    Poker Game
    An international Texas Hold Em game (my wife is proud of me for teaching it). We only played for Russian candies.

    We had fighting:

    Heavy Bag
    The heavy bag hanging outside on one of the decks. This was the only punching I saw.

    We had casualties (and costumes):

    Scientists Laura Whitmore and Lauren Kipp wearing fake moustaches before the "burial at sea" of the copepods (small invertebrates) Bob and Lil Sebastian that were found in the samples.

    We had the floor shaking:

    Waves crash against the side of the Tryoshnikov. This weather lasted for the last several days of the trip.

    We had a light show:

    Aurora Borealis
    The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from the hotel in Kirkenes

    Most of all, we had a rewarding, productive, exhausting, and fun adventure:

    Science Party
    Members of the science party on the bow as we cruised into port.
    Tryoshnikov in fog
    The RV Akademik Tryoshnikov sails out of Kirkenes into the fog, signifying the true end to NABOS 2021

    Weather Summary
    -2.0 C
    Wind Speed
    3 m/s


    Judy Fahnestock

    I can't believe it's all over and the Akademik Tryoshnikov has already left Kirkenes! I'm excited that you got to see the northern lights - looks like it was a beautiful display. It looks and sounds like you all did an amazing job getting the science done. Kudos to all!

    Jose Flacovitz

    Wow, Mr. Pazol, What a great trip. I'm so happy you were able to do it and share with everyone. In some ways kinda reminds me of my own family's arduous journey to America.