Today on July 5 the landing was planned on Kolguev Island, the island in the Eastern part of the Barents Sea. However, the expedition couldn’t land either at 2 pm or in the evening. By the end of the day Dmitry Kovalev, the head of the geo-information department, said that the wind in this area was very strong, so it would be impossible for the expedition to land. For a safe landing the wind velocity mustn’t be higher than 7 – 8 mps. But it was already 11 mps and sometimes up to 13 mps even before the RV “Professor Molchanov” passed the Kanin Nos Cape! When the wind is strong, the vessel velocity lowers considerably. During July 5 the average vessel velocity was about 20 km/h, though the vessel cruising velocity is about 36-40 km/h. The expedition had to leave the White Sea throat, to go along the Terskiy (Western) shore to the Svyatoy Nos Cape, to head for the Winter (Eastern) shore and to go along the age-old stations to the Kanin Nos Cape to finish the hydrological and chemical works and only after that to head for Kolguev Island. It was clear that due to weather conditions the expedition would be delayed.
Heading for Kolguev meant that, on the one hand, the vessel velocity increased because the frontal resistance lowered, but on the other hand, pitching changed into rolling which is much harder to tolerate even when the waves are not really high. So even thought the waves were only 1 m high, the announcement on the radio said to fix thoroughly all the equipment.
The expedition participants only hoped that the wind will go down soon.
To guarantee recognition
When there are no landings, the lectures become the educational program core. But the AFU program is more focused on Master students and post-graduate students that is why more attention is paid to research and field work and lectures are mostly aimed at broadening the outlook. On July 5 there was an interesting and useful lecture by Sergey Goryachkin, the head of the Geography and Soil Evolution Laboratory in the Russian Academy of Sciences Geographical Institute, Moscow.
Sergey was speaking about landscapes which the expedition participants will see with their own eyes, so this lecture guarantees that young researchers will be able to distinguish low-center polygons or palsa at once. So the recognition is guaranteed in contrast with, let’s say, Arctic exploration history as we can have really broad knowledge about it, but to see very few traces of it when you work in field. The situation is similar with flora and fauna: you can know a lot about, for example, a sea-unicorn but you may never see it in real life. Landscapes are different: as long as you know their characteristic features, you are able to recognize them.
The scientist himself who was invited to the expedition to conduct workshops for the young soil scientists hopes that he will manage to find the same soils in the Arctic which he has found in dry Antarctic desserts – primitive antecedent soils (fine grained soils) which are present and develop right in stones and hard-rock to prevent erosion. Sergey treats it as one of his main discoveries and hopes to repeat it in the Arctic.
An editor on-board
Although the general mood of the expedition was low due to bad weather forecast, everybody was happy to attend the evening meeting where Raisa Neyaglova-Kolosova, the managing director of the “Paulsen” publishing house, the only publishing house in Russia which specializes in “polar literature”, spoke about her work.The publishing house has existed for 10 years and it started its activity with publishing “The Northern Encyclopedia”, a huge folio weighing 2.5 kg. This book included all data on the Russian North. In 2015 “Paulsen” decided to publish the second edition of the encyclopedia as international relations in the Arctic enhanced since the encyclopedia was first published, new data in such spheres as geology, biology and others appeared. So while working on this project, “Paulsen” started to cooperate closely with NArFU, although the cooperation started long ago as to publish any book, “Paulsen” needs not only editors, but also specialists in glaciology, biology, geography, oceanography, international relations, etc.
And this time, the publishing house managing director takes part in the AFU expedition. On July 5 she gave a lecture on 2 deep-sea bathyscaphe “Mir” submergence to the Arctic Ocean bottom in the North Pole. It happened on August 2, 2007 and the titanium Russian flag was planted at a depth of 4261 m. Frederic Paulsen, the founder and the owner of the publishing house, was on board of one of these bathyscaphes. He is a billionaire and a world-famous businessman, he owns Ferring Phrmaceutical, but polar expeditions are the main passion in his life. He is the only person in the world who set himself a task to visit all 8 poles of the
Earth and implemented this task within 13 years (there is a geographical pole, a magnetic pole, a geomagnetic pole and a pole of relative inaccessibility in each hemisphere). Paulsen supports Russian Arctic programs, he is a member of trustee board of the Russian Geographical society. He invested $ 3 mln into “Mir” submergence on condition that he will be taken on board. During the expedition “Mir-2” got lost and they managed to rise and survive thanks to the skills of Evgeniy Chernyaev, the “Mir” pilot, and pure chance. Thus the AFU expedition realized that some things are much worse and much more dangerous than rolling. After the lecture Raisa Neyaglova-Kolosova showed some books which she is planning to present NArFU. One of the most popular books published by “Paulsen” is sir Arthur Konan Doyle’s diaries dating back to 1880-s when he worked as a shipboard physician on board the whaling vessel “Nadezhda” which headed to the Greenland shores. Later in his memoirs the writer noted that the fresh Arctic air had had positive impact on his health and that voyage had turned into a significant energy source. Probably, the Arctic air will give valuable energy to the AFU expedition as well.