1 August: The First day on the way to the Arctic
What the first day of The Arctic Floating University expedition participant can start with? With excitement and feeling of being responsible. With such feelings a third grade student of the Institute of Philology and Intercultural communication, Kseniya Vejlivsteva, woke up.
— I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I applied in November, but got the answer only in March. I was incredibly glad.
As majority of participants Kseniya is going to an expedition on board of the scientific research vessel Professor Molchanov for the first time. On the way from home to the University where the farewell ceremony took place, Kseniya had the only thought in her mind. Hadn’t she forgotten anything? 20 days on board, in limited space, with no possibility to go to the store in any time and buy things one needs. No one would envy those who forgot a toothbrush.
Kseniya was touched by the moment of parting from relatives and friends.
— I’ll miss my mum. I think she’s proud of me. And I’m very pleased that my friends’ took care of me. They brought me a plaid, chocolate and a memory stick with films, but I think this is not enough for such a long time.
The trip has stared with some challenges. The flight of one of the participants, Nataliya Lukasheva from Columbia University (Canada), was delayed, and the first forced stop was made in Solombala district. However the participants didn’t waist thier time, they used it to get familiar with the vessel, to make acquaintance with each other and try food prepared in the vessel kitchen.
Training alarm was one of the most impressive moments of the day.
— We put on life jackets that everyone has in one’s cabin in special drawings under the beds, and went to the safety boats. It was fun! Moreover, who else can boast that one was in the same safety boat with famous TV programme maker Mikhail Kozhukhov!
By the way, Mikhail and his team will be making a documentary about the history of the Northern Sea Route.
In contrast to scientific research, the work of interpreters started on the first day on board of the vessel where Russian and international students and scientists make a research.
— I helped to translate an interview with Max Ericsson, PhD Candidate in Political Sciences from Sweden. During the expedition he will be comparing the knowledge about the Arctic that he learnt in Sweden with knowledge he will get here, in Russia, — Kseniya sais.
By the way Max had not an easy trip from Sweden to Russia. First his passport and visa were lost in the post office, but it wasn’t the worst. The plane that Max must have taken was struk by lightening, and he had to wait for the next flight. So his adventure had started before departure.
After dinner all participants gathered to introduce oneself, tell about one’s work on board.
— After having made acquaintance with everyone I realized that the expedition united people interested in the Arctic research and fruitful work will be done here, — said Kseniya.
The day ended up by a beautiful sunset, when the sun disappeared in deep waters of the White Sea. It looked like if someone had spilt liquid gold on a smooth as mirror surface of the sea. Those who have gone to the expedition for the first time will remember this image forever.