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).
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:
We had food:
We had gambling:
We had fighting:
We had casualties (and costumes):
We had the floor shaking:
We had a light show:
Most of all, we had a rewarding, productive, exhausting, and fun adventure: