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NABOS II cruise path


September 29, 2015

We are in the White Sea, very close to Arkhangelsk. The NABOS 2015 cruise is over and it was a very successful cruise. All the expedition members were very happy with the crew and arrangements onboard.

Happy trails everybody, till we meet again in two years.

- V. Alexeev

Current location: 65.45N 39.35E


September 28, 2015

The working part of the cruise is over and the ship is sailing back to Arkhangelsk. They plan to arrive there on September 30.

The plan for the cruise was successfully carried out. Results yet to be summarized but, overall, we collected an impressive set of observations. Everyone aboard the ship is safe and sound.

Their current coordinates are 70.06N and 44.97E.


Upper Left: One of the winning teams. Photo by L. Ershova. Upper Right: Natasha and Volodya are getting ready to lead the contest. Lower Left: Carina Engicht holding the official certificate of 'bona fide' polar explorer. Lower Right: Mikhlail Romanov is reading the official initiation speech. Middle Upper Left: crew mates holding the 'bona fide' polar explorers' certificates. Middle Upper Right: San Sanych Artamonovis is delivering his question in form of pantomime to the contestants. Middle Lower Left: Contestants Torsten and Alena are all ready to fire away an answer. Middle Lower Right: Frank Bahr is delivering his question in form of pantomime to the contestants.

September 26, 2015

Oath to the sea

Science might be all fun and games, but there are things in life that require a more earnest approach. One of those is of course the initiation of every first-time-arctic participant of the cruise to the rank of a "Bona Fide Polar Explorer". Since the ceremony requires the full concentration of every apprentice, the timing was crucial. A timeframe during relatively work-free steaming just after the middle of the cruise was identified, and many kind helpers were acquired to support Natascha and Volodja with the preparations of the event.

The last doubts concerning the seriousness of the ceremony were wiped out by the call for "formal dress" in the officers mess room (even if "formal" for most of us meant: try-not-to-wear-work-clothing). The ceremonial hall filled up quickly as not only rookies from the scientific party, but also novices from the crew were about to be initiated.

The celebration began with the introduction of the honorable board of experienced arctic explorers that would be the judges of the evening: Vladimir, Igor and the son of the grandmother of the second wife of the offspring of the great Russian emperor Romanov Mikhail (which was a joke).

Under the charming guidance of our bilingual hosts Natascha and Volodja, we, the apprentices, were divided into several groups and after a few fun ice-braker-games (...yes...), the grand arctic quiz commenced: In order to become a true polar explorer, every contestant has to prove his knowledge about various aspects of the arctic to the all-seeing eye of the illustrious jury.

To our great relief, eventually, the distinguished referees approved our efforts and the final stage of the inauguration could begin. The untouchable dignity of the ceremony prohibits a detailed description, but after a long, poetic Russian oath, that every apprentice swore, and a baptism with arctic sea water, the official certificate of a "Bona Fide Polar Explorer" could be handed out to everybody (this is actually valid on every ship that sails beyond the arctic circle).

Having mastered the official part of the evening, the informal component took over and within a short while, the music (and/or less reluctant friends) dragged everyone on the dance floor.

- Till Baumann

Location as of Friday 6pm Sep 26: 80°31N 79°50E


September 25, 2015

We finished deploying the three moorings north of Cape Arkticheskiy and moved to the Santa Anna Trough transect. The CTD station are under way right now, and we will try to do as many as possible before sailing back to Arkhangelsk tomorrow. Our only constraint here is the transit time to Arkhangelsk. We are getting closer and closer to the end of the journey. Teams are busy working on reports for the final meeting the day after tomorrow. We probably saw the last couple of bears during this expedition today - there is no sea ice in sight all the way to Arkhangelsk. We hope the weather is collaborating with us on our transit back.

All is well on the Tryoshnikov, now in the Barents Sea.

- V. Alexeev

Current location: 80°25N 74°00E


Bottom: NABOS 2015 title was created by M. Varentsov using a spotlight. Photos by M. Varentsov.

September 24, 2015

Through the darkness of the Arctic night

How strange is it to remember now that only two weeks ago we had 24 hours of solar light every day! The day of autumn equinox has passed yesterday, and the length of the night is rapidly increasing every day, making the beginning of the polar night closer. Now we spend more than half of our time in the darkness. Everyone hopes to see the polar lights... however, dense clouds have been covering the sky for several days, and the weather forecast does not show any promise for aurora hunters. Therefore, the only lights in the sky during the darkness are the projectors, which are used for navigating in the ice at night. When a snowfall comes a mysterious dance of snowflakes in the light rays from those projectors begins. Those snowflakes plot thousands of glowworms when flying in the light of the small projectors in the darkness over the ship's deck. And the main projector, which sends the spotlight for hundreds of meters, makes a wide light belt around the whole ship. It feels like flying in space when you stand on the main deck: you don't see the sea around you, but instead you see myriads of small stars moving over you head! This is really amazing scenery, and not such a bad alternative to the missing northern lights!

- M. Varentsov

Current location: 82°35N 95°31E


One of those privileged moments, a swimming polar bear a few weeks ago. Photo by D. Naber.

September 23, 2015

Thinking of Home

We are into our last week of work onboard and I, among others, am thinking of home and making plans for when I am there.

The autumn season, one of my favorites, has come and is nearly gone since I left Fairbanks on August 14th. The leaves have all turned color and most are on the ground or soon will be. Snow has started to fall. I would like to get in a short hiking trip with my girlfriend and dog before the snow covers the ground. But if it does, we will break out the cross-country skis!

We are very lucky and privileged to be out here experiencing things that very few people will ever see in person but we still miss our loved ones, families, friends, and pets.

For some of us that are out at sea for many months a year, it is a trade-off between doing something we love and missing out on what goes on when we are gone; birthdays, holidays, births, deaths, anniversaries, cultural events, outdoor trips, and even simples things like making a meal with your family, friends or partner.

To all of those we have left, thank you for supporting us while we are gone. We will be home soon.

- Dan Naber, Research technician, Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Current location: 81.2985N 97.3994E


Photos by M. Varentsov.

September 22, 2015

We finished our work on the 126 E by deploying an ITP in the water and are now on our way to the cape Arkticheskiy. The ITP deployment went very smoothly and it took only about one hour and fifteen minutes! Our ITP techs are wizards! The ship crew tried to help with everything they could as well. Today was one of those rare uneventful days when everybody is resting and getting ready for the last spurt. Tomorrow the operations begin again! The highlights of the day were huge and beautiful icebergs and yet another polar bear (named Tania).

- V. Alexeev

Current location: 80°30N 99.45°E


Photos by C. Engicht.

September 21, 2015

At the moment we are waiting for the wind to slow down. It is 7am and after breakfast hopefully we can deploy Mooring M1-5. It is my first expedition and I am in the mooring team from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute. Everybody on the vessel is very friendly and I am glad to be here. As you can read below the Arctic is beautiful and interesting. Let us talk about mooring work. It is very important to work as a team and to have organized working conditions. Clear commands are very important. For example, there is only one person who is giving the commands. The leader is often the person under the A-Frame, which is attaching the instruments to the line. He is giving the commands because if the winch would go down without permission, the person under the A-Frame could lose a hand or a finger while touching the mooring. A good routine is if the leader says "slowly down on the winch" and the winch driver repeats it to make sure that he or she noticed the instruction. Everybody knows now what is happening and this is happening every time. I am very happy to work with so experienced people in the mooring team, I can learn a lot. Besides moorings we deployed an Ice Mass Balance Buoy on the ice. It is weird to stand on the ice in the Arctic and to know there are some polar bears around. Now it is finally time to deploy the mooring.

- Carina Engicht

Current location: 80°00N 126°00E


September 20, 2015

What a wonderful story happened to me recently! It started in the evening. To be honest it was at midday on ship`s time, but for me it was the real evening, because the sun visits us at night (ship time is Moscow time, and now we are far eastward of Moscow). On my way to the cabin, where my pillow was looking forward to seeing me again, I saw the mate who was on duty at the time. He said that he was searching me for a long time and than said it in a very simple plain voice, just like this: "Let's go, you can talk to your brother". Let me explain, we saw several ships near us this morning; they said it was fishing ships. However, I waved at them just in case. What if they looked at us in super-binoculars, then they could see me and this could make them happy. Moreover, I also believed that my brother was nearby. So, "Mirgorod-to-Tryshnikov", - said chief mate, and my brother answered from "Mirgorod". He works in the hydrology team there. Their expedition started earlier then ours, at the end of July, and I didn't hear his voice for a while, and didn't have any news from him, because his ship was old and there was no Internet there. Only short telegrams. I was jumping in joy, when I had heard his voice. Thus, in the Laptev sea, hundreds and hundreds miles from home, I heard my brother's voice despite the fact that this dialog was heard on the radio by everybody on the bridge - it did not matter at all. This is happiness, isn't it

- Nastya Kessel

Current location: 78°48N 125°55E


Photo by L. Ershova.

September 19, 2015

We had an unusual visitor in the helicopter hangar a few days ago. A small songbird appeared from nowhere and perched itself under the hangar ceiling. We were hundreds of miles from the nearest land, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Our ornithologist colleagues identified it as a female Siberian ruby-throat. Very likely this bird got disoriented on its migration to India and went north instead. This species has never been registered above the Arctic Circle. It's amazing that it made it this far and was still alive.

Sadly, this amazing feat was probably in vain - its chances of survival in the middle of the Arctic Ocean are quite low, and we never got a chance to catch and help her. By evening of that day she flew back outside, probably to continue on her way, and we never saw her again.

- Liza Ershova

Current location: 78°30N 125°50E


Photos by T. Hargesheimer and L. Wischnewski.

September 18, 2015

The Arctic Ocean undergoes a change from a predominantly ice-covered to an open water system. The increased Atlantic seawater inflow into the Arctic could have important consequences for the entire Arctic ecosystem.

To investigate the changing dynamics in the Arctic Ocean and their effects on the environment and species living in it e.g. phytoplankton with respect to community structure, elemental composition and resulting overall productivity. As phytoplankton is providing the carbon and energy for all higher tropic levels in the ocean, changes in the in productivity and composition of phytoplankton species will impact the entire ecosystem. It is necessary to employ high-quality physical and chemical measurements alongside with sampling of biological parameters.

To measure those biological and chemical parameters the so-called CTD-Rosette, with CTD standing for the measurements of "Conductivity", "Temperature" and "Depth", which is a combination of numerous sensors and sampling bottles is used. The sampling bottles can be "fired" at different depths, that means the bottles close at certain depths to collect water there. When the CTD-rosette is back on deck, the scientists and technicians from the different groups interested in the water start to sample the bottles for parameters like: oxygen content, dissolved organic carbon, particular organic carbon, nutrients and many more that give them information about the chemical and biological properties of the water.

The oceanographers on board take care of the CTD-rosette. The different instruments connected to the CTD can determine the physical ocean properties like temperature, salinity and density and they are able to identify ocean currents and exchanges between different water masses which help them to understand the Earth system.

- T. Hargesheimer and L. Wischnewski

Current location: 77.0°N 131°25E


Photos by I. Goszczko.

September 16, 2015

We are already a month aboard and started sliding slowly to the end of the cruise. And it is quite interesting to observe how diverse could be the nature around.

The main diversity originates from the general concept of time as it was already mentioned in the previous posts. Not only because of changing time zones, but also due to individual adaptation skills - you may see some quick-witted individuals still wandering after more than 30 hours of being awake while others would take several naps during a single nutrition cycle (let's say: lunch-to-lunch period).

Not only the time, but also the space matters - the sleep may be in a bunk (the most desirable place), in a chair while in transfer to the next station (the least comfortable) or in a hammock gimballed somewhere in the helicopter hangar (just above the vision level and among hanged jackets, suits and overalls of different colors, so you would not necessary notice the sleeping sloth at once).

Besides time and space, the temperature has also a meaning for living organisms. One month ago there was still a warm summer, with some scorching days caught in Kirkenes and Archangelsk. Thus, even being well prepared for the freezing temperatures some needed to buy additional T-shirts decorated with pictures of exotic birds (reduced prices are always appreciated, even you do not follow the up-to-date fashion very much).

Then, the winter came: moisture, frost and snow, blowing wind and freezing. Scary? Yet, those are the outdoor conditions - indoor climate may differ considerably. Here is rather warm and cozy, sometimes there is only a bit of draught through the opened lab doors during the CTD sounding or due to over-working ventilation. And as always - some would like the warm, while the others would prefer medium temperatures - the glacialis species do not care about cold (perhaps they do care about more food, though) while the tropical sp. wear caps, scarfs and most likely also woolen underwear.

Talking about fashion - shoes - this is another important issue. No wandering around in the flip flops on the deck! There the steel-toed boots are preferable. Whereas on the ice floe warm, isolated and waterproof shoes are rather OK (assuming that you are far away from the melting pond or crack where the dry suit would be even better). The last encountered high heels are gone far away below the horizon.

All right, there have been only a few observations of the naval human beings done by marine physicist. Those might be not quite accurate. Hopefully, estimation of the ocean currents based on the collected CTD and LADCP (Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) data will be less tricky. We will see, the Earth magnetic field plays games near the poles, affecting the work of some compasses. This is the scientific issue I mostly deal with (besides conducting the environmental research described above).

- I. Goszczko

Current location: 75°30N 166°00E


Photos by T. Matveeva.

September 15, 2015

Hello to everybody from the eastern corner of the East Siberian Sea! It is dawn, although the time is 8pm, because we live on ship (=Moscow) time. However you get used to some strange things - it's dark during the day and light at night. It was frosty yesterday (-7C, I could not stop myself mentioning the actual numbers, I am a meteorologist by training) and the snow on the deck was crusty like it is usually in January. Today the air is still cold but not as cold as yesterday and more typical for the beginning of December. Too bad the clouds are very low all the time and we do not see the sky, but this is what you would expect in the arctic seas. For people who like seeing different clouds, this low overcast is a bit boring, but the ice outside offers floes of all kind of shapes and sizes.

Meteorologists not only watch the skies (we do it at least once every hour, this is when we record clouds and sea surface), they also work with all kind of other data. I myself am very glad that I learned quite a few Matlab tricks that I was afraid of doing (or even thinking of doing) before. I even started thinking, somewhere deep in my mind, of working as a ship meteorologist.

Have a nice day!

- Tania Matveeva

Current location: 77°25N 172°20E


Top: (from left to right) I. Repina, T. Matveyeva, M. Varentsov, photo by M. Varentsov. Left: photo by I.Repini. Right: photo by T. Matveyeva.

September 14, 2015

The last attempt to find an appropriate ice floe for the remaining ITP buoy failed. We tried to cut in one nice looking ice flow several times from different directions but every time the Tryoshnikov would make a big crack, so it did not work out. We are now on our last easternmost transect in the East Siberian Sea. The weather is getting cold (-6C) but it is very calm and pleasant. Because the air is very humid and the temperature is below freezing, everybody is enjoying ice needles forming interesting patterns on everything outside, occluding equipment. Meteorology team needs to clean their instruments now more often because of those needles. All is well in the East Siberian Sea.

- V. Alexeev

Current location: 78°33N, 174°22E


Top: photo by T. Matveyeva. Bottom: photo by E. Khavina.

September 13, 2015

After spending long hours chasing good ice we finally stopped. The big buoys operations began at around 9pm ship time - we had four buoys to deploy. The operations were briefly disrupted by a bear but the captain 'honked' from the bridge several times which scared the unwanted visitor away. Some people thought they saw even two or three bear. This is why this station was called the two- or according to other people three bear station. The operation continued into the next morning, but everything went very smoothly and we left four scientific platform behind us at about 5am. However, today the chase for ice is on again - we are looking for the next good floe to deploy our last ITP. We will proceed with out easternmost transect and start moving west to finish up our work in the Laptev Sea.

- V. Alexeev

Coordinates as of Sep 13, 6pm ship time: 80°08N, 176°34E


Alyona is busy driving the rosette while Dean is all ready for his chemistry samples. Photo by V. Alexeev.

September 11, 2015

We are on our last stations of the first transect in the East Siberian Sea. Everything is going well. We are getting ready to deploying an ITP early this morning, after finding a good ice floe.

Coordinates as of Sep 11, 6pm ship time: 78°55N 166°53E


Photo by M. Varentsov.

September 10, 2015

We are doing the first transect in the East Siberian Sea, which will continue through tomorrow. We will try to listen to our old mooring M9 deployed six years ago after finishing this transect. It seems like we have a hard week ahead - after finishing this transect we start another, the easternmost one, which (by the way) just happened to be quite close to Alaska. Much closer to Alaska than to Moscow. The nights are getting darker and darker: we have moved south quite a bit compared to our locations in the Laptev Sea. The positive side of it is Internet on board, so everybody is trying to catch up with their email. The work is continuing around the clock. The mother nature keeps offering us some beautiful scenery - the sunsets here are quite spectacular.

- V. Alexeev

Coordinates as of Sep 10, 6pm ship time: 77°37N 164°12E


Top: 18:30 ship-time on September 7th. Bottom: 22:30 ship-time on August 29th. Photos by J. Rohde.

September 9, 2015

What time is it?

Time is a special thing on a vessel and especially in high latitudes, as I found out...

The problem with the timezone...

The Earth is divided into twenty-four timezones: The time changes by one hour every 15° longitude. As the ship moves along, it would appear reasonable to change the shi's time according to the timezone we're currently in.

The problem is, that, by design, the lines of longitudes run together at the pole and are thus much closer in high latitudes than near the equator: While 15° longitude (the"length" of one time zone) span a distance of 900 nm (1670 km) at the Equator, at 80°N (a typical latitude on our expedition) they only span 156 nm (288 km). This means, with a ship speed of 13 kn on an East-West course, we would cross a timezone every 12 hours. In consequence we would have to change the ship's time twice a day. I think everybody who as ever experienced a jet-lag can see that this is highly unpractical.

To avoid this, we stay on Moscow-time (UTC+3) during the whole expedition. Which, in turn, has the strange side effect, that the ship's time is completely decoupled from the "real" rhythm of day and night outside: Currently, the darkest hour of the day is around five in the afternoon (ship's time).

...the daylight issue...

During our cruise, the rhythm of day and night is more a rhythm of day and dusk. As everyone knows, in the Arctic summer, there isn't much of a night: The sun only 'dips' below the horizon for one or two hours, resulting in a dim of the light. During most of the "day", the brightness outside is predominantly determined by the weather condition.

...and finally work...

Having daylight around for (basically) 24 hours allows us to carry out any type of work on deck around the clock; whenever we happen to arrive at a station. While this is very handy for cruise-scheduling, it causes some challenges for the groups that doesn't work in shifts: Without any fix rhythm between work and rest or day and night, time eventually becomes a highly theoretical and confusing thing.

The only higher force that in the end structures the day are the four meal times: Breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.

- Till Baumann

Coordinates as of Sep 9, 6pm ship time: 75°07N 159°40E


We use Bongo and Juday nets to collect the zooplankton samples. We look at each sample under the microscope and pick out several key species of special interest to us. These will be preserved for later analysis of their population genetics. Some of our favorite organisms - Calanus glacialis, Plotocnide borealis, Obelia longissima with a polychaete worm larva. Photos by L. Ershova.

September 8, 2015

When people think of marine animals in the Arctic, they picture polar bears and walruses. But the icy waters here also hold a variety of life that is invisible from the surface. We are studying zooplankton, or the tiny animals that float in the water column and are food for the fish, birds and mammals that live here. This is peak season for the plankton - the summer is short, but the 24-hour daylight allows the microscopic planktonic algae to grow very fast. The plankton are taking advantage of this ample food - they are full of fat stores that will help them survive the winter.

This is the first year that our group is participating in NABOS, and we are excited to be a part of this program, which covers some of the most inaccessible regions of the Arctic Ocean. Tomorrow we start sampling in the East Siberian Sea - the last studies on zooplankton in this region have been done in the 1970's by the Soviet Union. Our sampling work this year will hopefully lay out a baseline for future studies of this area.

- Liza Ershova, Volodya Gagarin, Dima Kulagin

Coordinates as of Sep 8, 6pm ship time: 77°49N 147°57E


Top: (from left to right) Carlton and Volodja finish the met buoy, while Peter, Mathias, and Jim prepare for the final steps of the ITP deployment. Bottom: Peter (left) and Carlton (right) transfer back to the ship via "palette plane". Photos by F. Bahr.

September 6, 2015

September 5 - We get a chance to deploy our first Ice Teathered Profiler (ITP). Jim Dunn and Frank Bahr from WHOI are very excited! But the question is: will we find a good ice floe to deploy on? That will be the job of Andrey Masanov, our ice pilot. But we know he is good - and has lots of experience in the ice. We are confident he will "deliver".

The ITP is basically a version of the widely used ARGO float, modified to work in the Arctic. The ARGO program deploys autonomous floats all over the world. The floats modify their weight (buoyancy) to profile between the surface and around 1500m depth, then report the collected data back home via satellite. In the Arctic, coming to the surface is typically prevented by ice. So instead we deploy a surface buoy with a 800m wire below it. The float uses a motor to crawl up and down the wire during data collection, then relays its data to the surface buoy for transmission to shore.

On September 4, we learn that we will hit the ice edge around midnight. "But it will take a while to find a good floe, don't come looking before 03:00" says Andrey. Of course, Jim and Frank start looking at 02:00. But many floes brake apart when the ship tries to "park". Not thick enough. The manual says 1.5m to 2m is good. "But we take 1m", says Jim.

Eventually, just after breakfast, we may have found a good one. Andrey, Jim and Frank get lifted onto the ice for a quick survey. After Jim drills the first test hole, Frank drops in the measuring tape. "1.08m" he shouts - sucess! Its 1.18m on a second test hole, so Andrey calls the bridge to confirm deployment here.

Jim has deployed many ITPs before, and takes charge of setting up on the ice. We will also deploy one of Carlton's meteorological buoys today, which needs a wider hole, so we use Carlton's hydraulic "Beaver" drill. Many groups of the science crew pitch in, including Mathias from AWI, Peter from the mooring team, and Volodja from the atmospheric group. The ship's crew does an excellent job in getting all the gear onto the ice, including the precision job with the massive bow cranes to lift Carlton's heavy buoy directly from the ship into the prepared hole in the ice - with centimeters to spare!

Still, it is a long day on the ice. Lunch comes ... "You can go", says Jim, "but I can't leave the ITP winch now." Finally, at about 14:30, all is in place. Time for the final test. There is no direct wire connection to the ITP float, because a wire could get tangled up during profiling. Instead, the float transmits its signal via an inductive link to the mooring wire. That can be tricky. We hook up the test cables, and Frank squints onto the computer screen to see if he can talk to the float. "Youpeee!" he shouts. "I take that as a yes", replies Jim.

We gather our gear and get ready for the final lift back onto the ship. The galley kept our lunch, and we have a much appreciated meal to celebrate our success.

- Frank Bahr

Coordinates as of Sep 6, 5:53 ship time: 80°49N 138°58E


Photo by V. Alexeev.

September 5, 2015

The fourteenth day of the cruise was dedicated to the deployment of the so-called ice-tethered buoys. These are special measurement platforms, which are placed on ice floe and move with the ice, making various types of measurements en route. The data collected by these devices is transmitted via satellite communication to the receiving centers on land. The data is available to the end-users through the Internet almost online. Today our tech team had deployed a cluster of buoys, which will be making measurements of water temperature, salinity in the upper water column (down to 1000 m) sea ice properties and standard meteorological parameters (air temperature, humidity wind speed etc.). These data are transmitted to the receiving centers once a day. Due to substantial retreat of the ice edge northwards, the appropriate (about 1-1.2 m thick and several hundred meters wide) ice field was found only at about 83 deg. N, i.e. about 80 nm off the northernmost point of the recently accomplished CTD transect. Our tech team did an excellent job on ice and completed the deployment procedure in about 4 hours. At 2 p.m. the ship turned south and started sailing (about 150 nm) to the CTD transect#3 at the boundary of the Laptev Sea and East-Siberian Sea.

- V. Ivanov

Coordinates: 82°45.124N 126°E


Photo by I. Repina.

September 4, 2015

We spent the morning between two cyclones and the shy sun was rarely seen through the openings in the clouds over the grey waters of the Laptev Sea. The quiet morning let us put the zodiacs on the water to hook up our next buoy that emerged from the abyss. It was just in time - the next cyclone was already encroaching to the area of our field work, trying to tangle us up with its tentacles of the frontal systems. The wind was getting stronger, the sky was getting covered by the dense layer of low clouds, the sea was getting higher and higher and the snow was flying almost horizontally over the deck. Nevertheless, the station was successfully recovered and the deepest CTD cast was made. Right now we are moving to the ice edge and the cyclone is still chasing us. The wind is hammering the ship and sends a lot of spray in the air. Soon the ocean surface will be covered by foam which will completely hide the waves.

This foam is not only the indicator of the storm's strength, but it is also a product of air-sea interaction. The foam and the sea spray actually determine this interaction. The number of water droplets in the surface layer impacts the air density and therefore the stratification in the lowest layer and as a result the ocean-atmosphere exchange. If the stratification is strong, the turbulent vortices do not develop strong enough and therefore the wind get stronger and stronger. This is a very interesting phenomenon, but those kind of measurements are very rare. However we were able to do it in NABOS 2007 and hopefully this cruise will give us some interesting results, too. We hope this storm will not slow down our other operations during this cruise.

For the sake of preserving the author's poetic style we are publishing the original russian text as well.

С утра были в ложбине между двумя циклонами. И робкое солнце отражалось через разрывы в облаках в стальных водах моря Лаптевых. Спокойная погода позволила спустить зодиак, чтобы подцепить всплывший буй очередной станции. И вовремя – следующий циклон уже подбирался щупальцами фронтальных систем к району наших работ. Сгущающиеся изобары накрыли нас после обеда. Ветер усилился, небо покрылось плотным слоем облаков, по морю полетели барашки, снежные струи хлестали по судовой обшивке, скользя почти параллельно палубе. Но станция была благополучно поднята, самое глубокое за рейс зондирование тоже сделано. Движемся во льды, а циклон гонится за нами. Ветер хлещет по волнам и срывает пенные гребни, разбрасывая вокруг фонтаны брызг. Скоро вся поверхность покроется пенными полосами, а потом за пеной не будет видно и самих волн.

Но пена – это не только индикатор силы шторма и продукт взаимодействия атмосферы и океана. Она и сама во много м определяет это взаимодействие. Одной из основных характеристик взаимодействия атмосферы и океана, входящих в модели прогноза ветрового волнения и ветра над морем, является коэффициент сопротивления морской поверхности. Значение коэффициента сопротивления определяется не только скоростью ветра, но и многими другими параметрами (стратификацией атмосферы, возрастом морского волнения, направлением ветра в прибрежных районах, глубиной моря, наличием осадков, влажностью воздуха и пр.), с чем и связана сложность его определения в атмосферных моделях. При умеренных ветрах, как и следует ожидать, коэффициент сопротивления морской поверхности возрастает с увеличением скорости ветра. Но парадокс - объяснить высокие значения скорости ветра при ураганах можно лишь при условии, что этот коэффициент не возрастает и даже убывает при больших ветрах! А причиной как раз является влияние брызг, которые образуются при срыве гребней крутых волн ветром. Интересно, что подобный же эффект наблюдается над земной поверхностью при наличии поземки или песка. Эти явления объединяет тот факт, что во всех случаях при усилении скорости ветра у поверхности образуется движущийся слой частиц – водяных капель, частиц песка и почвы, снежинок. То есть поток становится двухфазным. У поверхности концентрация частиц больше, чем в верхних слоях. Это означает, что внизу плотность воздушной смеси (воздуха и частиц) больше, чем вверху – т. е. дополнительно к температурной стратификации образуется устойчивая стратификация атмосферы по плотности. Чем стратификация устойчивее, тем больше энергии тратят турбулентные вихри на преодоление сил плавучести, а значит, тем меньше ее остается, и интенсивность перемешивания падает, а скорость ветра, соответственно, увеличивается. Понятно, что экспериментальных измерений над морской поверхностью крайне мало. Все реальные данные, которыми мы располагаем, получены или в лабораторных условиях или с падающих GPS-зондов. В 2007 году нам удалось измерить коэффициент сопротивления в Карском море, когда судно, работавшее по той же программе НАБОС, находилось в зоне действия полярного мезоциклона. Скорость ветра достигала 30 м/с – и искомый эффект был зафиксирован и даже опубликован. Сейчас соответствующие измерения тоже проводятся. Море постепенно закипает, и приводный слой неотвратимо наполняется брызгами. Конечно, даже ради высокой науки попасть в 30-метровый ветер совсем не хочется. Но все-таки пока прогноз сулит 20 м/с, что, согласно теории и является началом спадания коэффициента сопротивления. Очень надеюсь, что наши погодные предпочтения не помешают работам других отрядов).

- Irina Repina


Photos by N. Fedorenko.

September 3, 2015

Glaciers of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago is a very productive factory of icebergs in the heart of the Arctic. Thousands of multi-century years old chunks of ice slip in the Laptev Sea every year, creating extreme danger for shipping... but at the same time astonishingly beautiful view

- Natalia Fedorenko

The ship coordinates are 79.99N and 126.13E. It is still storming there.


September 2, 2015

They continue work along 125E meridian. So far, they recovered three out of six moorings deployed along this section in 2013. Right now it is storming there and they are waiting for better weather. Their current coordinates are 78°27.54 lat and 125°53.7E lon.


Photo by V. Alexeev.

September 1, 2015

Two more successful mooring recoveries today. The weather was calm and the technicians heard the moorings right away. The recovery was very easy, thanks to the help from the ship's crew with Zodiaks. Everybody is busy doing the Laptev transect, this is a long one, but nobody is complaining. Everything is under control on the Tryoshnikov in the Laptev Sea.

Coordinates as of Tuesday, 6:45pm ship time: 77.1565N, 125.9361E

- V. Alexeev


Photo by A. S. Hyun.

August 31, 2015

As this is my first big expedition, everything was awesoooommmmmeeeeee >_<

Especially, one day we had a short tour on the ship and looked at lots of rooms such as the captain's bridge, the engine room, helicopter deck, satellite room ....!

But the most impressive one was the monitoring room of engine which is on the attached pic.

As this my first time, it feels like one scene of the movie that I have seen before.

Big monitors, professional crews, stylish Russians (which I cannot understand at all) :)

Not only this short trip but the others were also wonderful.

Beautiful sea ice on the outside made me always happy (But it is a bit cold....).

And, even our room for sleeping was special for me. I haven't seen the 2-level bed before.

So I was trying to sleep in the 2nd level but my co-worker persuaded not to do because of its inconvenience...

- Ahn So Hyun (Sophie)

Coordinates: 79.5N 110E

Accomplishments:

Successfully recovered our mooring M6 and deployed 4 AWI moorings at Severnaya Zemlya.


August 30, 2015

Sometimes the universe makes exciting surprises that we could not imagine before. In the spring, I did not think that I could have so much happenings summer. And now I'm working in the NABOS-15 expedition and can see the northern seas and the Arctic Ocean! I'm just a student (area of research - oceanography) and my participation in this expedition is very important for me. Because here I have the possibility to work with new good equipment in real conditions and learn so many new things which one can only understand when doing real work (not just classes and small trainings). After nine stations with the rosetta (and a lot of another zonds) I realize that I am able of doing very serious and significant work for all of our expedition. I should say that after you realize it - this kind of work feels like honey for oceanographer's soul. People from my hydro team are very friendly. I can say even more - all people on this ship are very friendly and smiling to me every time when they see me. I am so glad for this!

First nine station we didn't have shifts - we were working all together for the creation of the good atmosphere in the team and for making work with such expensive equipment more clear to everybody in our team. I can also say that during just one last week we had so many funny situations. So, we laugh a lot and it's good. Perfect atmosphere and good communication with people on the ship is a key to a successful expedition.

Sure, few people before me wrote here that we saw polar bears and a whale's tale, white rainbows and so on. So what, I want to say about another thing. When you stand on the board of the ship under the sky and see so clear ice fields and the sun, you start feeling the wind of change. Really, your mind becomes open to new experience, to new feelings and new discoveries. Views from the ship here look like miracles. Sky has a color similar to milk with honey. Very nice and tender color... Yesterday we had 95% ice covered ocean and heard how ice breaks under our ship. It is really a fantastic noise. It sounds like broken chocolate on the ice-cream. Maybe now I'll say a funny thing - but this experience is better than Discovery, BBC, National Geographic etc... It's the real nature! It's the real views! And not a single channel can make you feel even little part of what you feel here, in the Arctic.

I can say that after this expedition I am determined to make more of my dreams come true. You just need to taste this exciting feeling at least one time and your soul starts asking for more and more. I know about this from my previous experience.

- Alena Timoshina, Russian State Hydromet University (RSHU), Saint-Petersburg


Photo by T. Matveyeva.

August 29, 2015

It's been a week since we are in the expedition and I still cannot believe this is happening to me. We are above 80N, which is north of the northernmost point of Asia. I can very well feel it - the outside temperature falls below negative 5C at times.

I will write about different sides of life in the expedition. The scientific part is going very well, our instruments are collaborating with us, we are getting valuable (or rather invaluable) data for the arctic boundary layer. I never worked with this things before but it makes it even more interesting. I was on a night watch today, but I could see the sun more often than during the day. This makes you feel strange and my organism cannot understand anything. I saw a polar bear for the first time! Very cool! The bear looked very cute from far away. The air feels like it is winter. Also, I had to "skate" on the heli deck on my boots to get to our measurements site, because the deck turned into a skating rink. It snowed during my night shift, which puts me in the new year's mood. And it is August 29 on the calendar!

Non-scientific life includes exercising in the small gym, which is an absolutely necessary thing to do, because with all this excellent food in large quantities I risk to become much more round. Everybody got hooked on ping pong. It energizes you for quite a while.

I am now finishing this small report and going outside for a breath of frosty fresh air also to enjoy the scenery and ice (or, as we put it in our meteorology journal 'observe individual ice floes').

- Tanya Matveyeva

Coordinates: 82°06N 97°02E.


Photos by V. Alexeev.

August 28, 2015

Operations began! First CTD casts are made, plan of transects is constantly adjusted to the changing sea ice conditions. Everybody knows everything about what is going on in about a few minutes - a sign that we are all becoming one team. Liza Ershova of UAF can proudly brag about her first catch near Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago.

Coordinates: 81.50N 94.19E


Photos by M. Varentsov.

August 27, 2015

Hello everybody! It`s fifth day we are in the sea! Finally first ice! And... first polar bear! (I hope not the last one). He (or she), actually, didn`t introduce himself, was far away in the open sea and swimming towards Severnaya Zemlya. Our ice-navigators with the captain observed him. There is no ice fields for about 70 nautical miles around us and no land as well! So that bear was really a brave and sporty guy! Unfortunately, nobody had a camera to take a picture of our first polar friend.

Yesterday we saw a white rainbow or what is sometimes called foggy rainbow, or, as my vocabulary says, "seadog". White rainbow (at last we decided to call it this way) is an amazing optical phenomenon in the atmosphere, which is rather ordinary in Arctic due to the low air temperature. It looks like just a white bow in the sky, but it is really impressive. White rainbows form when sun rays fall down on fog droplets. And why is it white by the way? It`s because of the drops size. They are very small, much smaller than rain droplets. The colors dissappear because of the very strong diffraction on those teeny tiny droplets.

Everybody (exept meteorologists) is looking forward to finally start working.

- Nastya Kessel

Coordinates: 79.7920N 84.0775E


Photos by V. Alexeev.

August 26, 2015

We are in the Kara Sea now, the weather is still treating us well. Saw the northern island of Novaya Zemlya on the horizon for quite a while the whole day. Planning to arrive to the first station tomorrow. Everybody is ready for the first test CTD cast. Mooring technicians are getting ready for the recovery of our first mooring, which is needed to replace the instruments for other deployments. Ice situations is constantly monitored, thanks to our very experienced sea ice team. The first mooring is on the ice margin and we expect that this will be the case for the next couple of days. The highlight of the day was the tour of the Tryoshnikov.

Coordinates: 77.91N 70.85E as of 6.57 Moscow time

Photos by V. Alexeev.

August 25, 2015

It is Tuesday, August 25 and we are in the Barents Sea sailing along the coast of Novaya Zemlya. Arrival to the first station is planned for August 27. It is getting cold outside, it is only +4C. The Barents Sea has been good to us so far. People are getting used to the life onboard. A lot of prep work is under way to be ready for the first station. The cabins are nice and comfortable, the food is good, the sauna started working, operations at the hangar are continuing non-stop for the recovery of the first mooring.

Coordinates: 74.14N 52.30E, as of 4:23pm Moscow time.


August 24, 2015

The ship sails towards Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago where we plan to start our work with mooring recovery and deployments.

Coordinates: 70.7283N 46.0997E


Photo by V. Alexeev.

August 23, 2015

Sailing at last!

After a day and half waiting for the fueling to finish we are sailing! We are close to the exit from the White Sea, will continue to the Barents Sea and then further north and east. People are looking at the ice maps trying to figure out the best strategy for recovering moorings and re-using instruments. Everyone is busy getting ready for fieldwork. The ship crew is very friendly and trying to help with all the big and small things. The food is good, the cabins are new and nice, even the Internet is working! Everything is coming together now and we hope the expedition will be a success.


August 21, 2015

We are about to board the Akademik Treshnikov. She is in the port, we are waiting for the agent to pick us up and go to the dock. More updates after boarding. There is Internet onboard!

Arkhangelsk is an old city with a rich history and we had a nice walk around the city center yesterday. The local cod was very delicious!


August 20, 2015

The ship arrived to Arkhangelsk at 1pm Alaskan time. Her coordinates are N64°35'39.71" E040°30'18.1

The ship will spend the next day passing Russian formal procedures required for work in the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone.


August 18, 2015

Today our team in Kirkenes, Norway finished uploading of all our equipment on the RV Ak. Tryoshnikov and now she sails towards Archangelsk, Russia. Her current (2pm AKT) coordinates are N69°51'59.69 "E030°41'10.27". Estimated time of arrival to Archangelsk is 20:00 on August 20, 2015.

Thanks to all team members for their hard work over this difficult day. Special thanks to our good friends from Henriksen Shipping Co, located in Kirkenes for their great contribution to timely uploading of the ship.


August 17, 2015

The 10th NABOS cruise is scheduled to start in Kirkenes, Norway on August 19th. RV "Akademik Tryoshnikov" belonging to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St.-Petersburg, Russia will be our scientific platform for the cruise. On August 18th the ship will be uploaded in Kirkenes and will sail to port Archangelsk, Russia for formal procedures. It is planned that the scientific part of the cruise will start on August 21, with the duration of the cruise 38 days. The ship will return to Archangelsk on September 29th.

Multidisciplinary research over vast areas spanning from St. Anna Trough (~70E) to central East siberian Sea (~170E) is planned. International team of researchers is ready to handle complex high-latitude atmospheric, ice and oceanographic observations.

Good luck to all cruise participants!