Early in the morning there was a white whale spotted near “Molchanov”, and at 6 am my phone started ringing, I even got the Internet connection, though in 10 minutes it all disappeared. We have reached Bolshoy Solovetskiy Island and cast anchor pretty far from the coast.
In the morning a seal came to “Molchanov”. Its curious face appeared either at one side of the vessel, or at the other. It wasn’t bothered by the noise, on the contrary, even attracted. After spending some time around and allowing us to take pictures, the seal swam around the vessel and disappeared.
The tossing was very heavy at night! Though it was only 5 balls, to me it seemed like 9! Some waves even reached the bridge. We were caught in a storm in 1.5 hours after leaving Kolguev. It was especially heavy when we were passing the Kanin Nos Cape, about 2 am. I lay in my bed holding the pillow very tight as if it could help me not to fall down. I do not suffer from sea sickness, but I could hardly sleep anyway.
My cabin viewport is right opposite Bugrino. If I take my camera, I can even distinguish something on the shore. After noon, the sky cleared off a bit, the rain stopped, the sea colour changed from lead to greenish. We are waiting.
The morning today is sleepy as at night we picked up the group of expedition participants from Varnek. The waves were still high, so when they finally reached the vessel, they were soaking wet. However, we didn’t manage to load a hydroplane on board.
The further we go to the south, the colder it gets, or it just seems to me so, probably, because there is no sun in the sky. There was too much sun in the north. When I get back, I can make jokes that I have spent three weeks on the islands. It is warm now in Arkhangelsk, the temperature is +23-25oC, but it’s rainy.
“Professor Molchanov” average velocity is 10 knots, though today we managed to speed up to 11.5 knots. The favourable wind helps us. I can’t say that the waves are very high, but the tossing is strong, it is forbidden to go out to the deck.
The waves are large and the tossing is strong. We are going to the south, though from the viewport one can see snow-capped mountains. It has got colder. The weather is cloudy. Each of us has been given a “Floating University” sweatshirt. The sweatshirt is great, but it was too hot to wear it on board. Though today I feel great in it, probably I am just tired.
Almost each educational module now has its nickname, well, and I will start today with a small historical reference.
I woke up at 7 am and was absolutely sure that the vessel was heading for or had already reached its next destination. I looked out of the viewport, blinked as the morning sun was bright and saw that we still were in Russkaya Gavan’. The landscape was perfect: the slight gauze emphasized the beauty of the sky, the sea was absolutely calm, so the polar station reflection was very clear.
Many books write that Russkaya Gavan’ is the most convenient bay for vessel anchorage at the Novaya Zemlya. The sea is smooth, sparkling and of emerald and turquoise colour. And there are no polar bear seen nearby.
Yesterday evening we all got really excited: we shall pass by the Belush’ya Bay at 1-2 am and we will have mobile connection there. I had been eager to fall asleep by midnight, but I stayed awake and was watching all my three cell phones. But the connection did not appear as we were more than 12 miles away from the shore.
We don’t have any connection again. Dmitry Kovalev said that our course is not very “suitable” for that as the deck structure screens the aerial, and there would be no connection until we change the course. I am disappointed as I spent all day at landings, after that I summed up the day results, started writing the diary at midnight and finished it about 4 am.
I found a tangerine in my backpack today in the morning. I took it yesterday with me to the landing and forgot about it, so I ate it before breakfast. Starting from today the breakfast time has changed – it is now at 7:30, which is half an hour earlier.
A hairdryer is a very useful item in the expedition, and I doubted whether to take it with me or not. I use it here to dry my boots. Some time ago in Mezen I used it to dry my camera. I hope, it won’t happen again…
By the evening my nose is not white at all. I feel that by the end of the expedition I will have real Arctic tan: a tanned face and sunburnt ears. Actually, I got the larger part of solar radiation while we were getting back to the vessel.
It is possible to land if the wave height is half a meter, but the waves were two meters high and there was fog on the Island, so the landing was cancelled and the vessel headed for the Bely Nos Cape.
What is striking I sleep here well. It is easy for me to fall asleep and to wake up. Probably, tossing favours it, though yesterday I had a feeling that I was about to roll on the bed, my head or feet against the wall. But I did not. We all like our mothers “toss” us when we are babies. Or probably I just miss my cat: we like to eat together during the night.
The tossing is getting stronger. After breakfast it was stronger than at 8 am, and after lunch – stronger than after breakfast. Although the expedition participants were not very eagerly coming to the canteen to have breakfast, at 9 am at the first lecture there were no vacant seats.
Favourable southernly wind. On June 6 my brother called me and asked: “Ira, how will you sail? We have a gale warning today. The wind is opposing, it will cause huge head waves, you will be unable even to enter the White sea!”