Expedition Diaries 2016

June 24. Day 18

June 24. Day 18

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.

Photo shooting.

During the first part of the day the expedition members were recovering from the storm. It took the sea a while to get calm again: firstly, the sun appeared, then the waves started decreasing gradually and finally almost disappeared. Then I was asking the expedition members to come to the beam or to the stern, to stand in the shadow or, on the contrary, in the sun looking for the proper light.

Today the expedition participants were photographed in groups – according to their modules: who worked together (so do not be surprised to see some expedition members in different groups) and also individually. The photographs will be uploaded to the NArFU web-site.

While I was copying the pictures from my camera to the laptop, something went wrong and I had to take pictures of five people again. In the result, they will have two sets of pictures as while I was copying them for the second time, it all went well and the first variants were also copied.

I want to mention that all the models worked well, though some of them were crying as I made them look at the sea in which the sun was reflected.

The cloudberry island.

At about 11 pm we reached Sosnovets, an island by the Terskiy shore of the White Sea. Sosnovets Island is a part of the Arkhangelsk region, however, Sosnovka village on the mainland is a part of the Murmansk region. It was too late to take a common picture on the shore, though there isn’t a proper sunset, of course, but the sun is very low to the horizon.

Some expedition participants think that it is the most beautiful island. It differs greatly from those which we have visited before: there is grass and mosquitoes at Sosnovets. But the mosquitoes are not very quick as they decided to attack us only when we were leaving the island.

There is a lot of cloudberry. I really want to come here in July to lie on a hill and eat cloudberries. I have never seen so much cloudberry before. Last year I spent the whole day in a swamp on a rainy day trying to pick up three liters of cloudberries. But here the ground is not even swampy! The island is stony, and you can see the stones especially well at a height, though they are covered with cloudberry.

The stone used to be quarried at Sosnovets and brought to Saint-Petersburg. There used to be a monastery on the island, then – a military unit. Half-ruined buildings are all that is left. A lighthouse and a meteostation work on the island today.

It is common “to keep off the grass” here. Sosnovets is covered with a net of wooden footbridges. Sometimes they are only one plank wide, but still they are there to protect cloudberry.

First we came to the meteostation. I stayed behind as I was taking pictures. But I was not alone: the hydrologists were walking at the same pace as I, taking some measurements. Local dogs liked Misha and Vova a lot. When I saw the shaggy dogs rushing towards them (by the way, they were running along the wooden footbridges), I faded and started taking pictures of them coming. They paid no attention to me, but got really interested in the hydrologysts’ occupation and were constantly following them then.

The lighthouse.

The lighthouse at Sosnovets is old, it dates back to the beginning of the previous century. Dima, the lighthouse keeper, said that the lighthouse had been rebuilt and that the upper part of the old lighthouse is still lying at the foot of the modern one. Although it was late, Dima agreed to show us the lighthouse.

- I will take two people with me.

Sasha Tokarev and I were chosen, as we had cameras.

- There are 120 steps, - warned us Dima while opening the door. – I will light the way with the torch, be careful.

I am really scared of winding staircases, but now I know how to deal with this fear: you need to light only three next steps, so you see nothing below or sideways and there is nothing to be scared about. We were climbing up pretty fast, and my untrained body decided to object. But as soon as I wanted to say something, it turned out that we had reached the top. Of course, there were some more steps left, but this time we needed to climb the ladder.

- Here we are! – Dima showed us the lamp covered with white cloth. – The lighthouse is out of use until August 6.

The island seemed really tiny at a height. In the sunlight the sea and the houses looked fine, but through the lighthouse safety bars they looked slightly creepy. Our group was gradually leaving, the sun seemed to be going down.

I have never taken such beautiful pictures of sunset. Dima didn’t hurry us, he was telling us something about the lighthouse, the island, and also that it was fine that we had come so late, we were new to that place…

Soon we had to go back. It’s a pity I can’t come back here later to pick up berries. The island is really beautiful.

The sunset gradually gave way to the sunrise. We left Sosnovets at about 3 am and headed for Zimnyaya Zolotitsa. 


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Updated 20.06.2016