July 8. Day 1
Today probably only the third or fourth day of warm weather in Arkhangelsk. It means that we don`t have to wear jackets as T-shirts will be enough.
Actually I would like to put on a dress, it is summer time anyway! However, it might be a mistake cause of mosquitoes that also would like to welcome participants of the Arctic Floating University-2017 in front of the square near the M.V. Lomonosov monument. I will definitely remember them the first days of the expedition.
My name is Irina Skalina and as a journalist I will write diaries of this expedition. I am already acquainted with the most places that we are planning to visit as it is my second AFU expedition and I have already been at Franz Josef Land as a Deputy Director on ecological education and tourism in the national park “Russian Arctic”.
Back to the weather
There is such a common stamp "the old-timers don't remember." So they do not remember such a summer if it can be called “summer” this year. Snow in may won`t impress someone in Arkhangelsk but the lack of leaves in the middle of June is surprising. For example, my colleague from Karelia sent me a video on the 3 June where the man in his winter clothes skies through the snow-covered forest on 3 June.
-Everyone can feel the global challenges related to climate changes. For example, this year summer in Russia is the abnormally cool. Arctic is the kitchen of weather and many processes are formed there. In order to understand these issues, we have to study it. That was the answer of the head of the AFU-2017 expedition Konstantin Zaikov as I asked about the main goals and objectives.
Fortunately, all official events went well without rain and storm. However, my two-year-old niece didn't want to go outside to say me good bye without a winter hat: that's right, don`t to walk down the street without a hat in the Arctic!
Soon Konstantin Sergeevich will carry about it and look that no one of the expedition participants should be on the open-air deck without a hat. Otherwise they will be punished. In this regard as well as in the discipline the leader of the expedition is strict and fair. In the past year, one of the expedition participants lost her landing on Solovky islands cause she didn`t put her hat on!
Wishes were very kind. For example, rector of NArFU Elena Kudryashova said that all are looking forward to expedition return. Vice-speaker of the state Duma Olga Epifanova announced the contest. The author of the best notes about the expedition will receive a prize. The winner will be determined by the students.
About the expedition
It is the ninth expedition of the Arctic Floating University. It is not anniversary but significant one as it is included in the program of the Ecology Year in Russia.
There are 58 participants in the expedition-2017 “Acticum Incognita”. 30 students from Russian and foreign univeristies. For the first time almost half of members are international: there are 25 representatives from Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Cuba and France.
Our route is following: Arkhangelsk- Oranskie Islands- Zhelaniya Cape (Novaya Zemlya)- Hall Island (Franz Josef Land)- Heiss Island (Franz Josef Land)-Jackson Island (Franz Josef Land)- Rudolf Island (Franz Josef Land)- Hooker Island (Franz Josef Land)- Northbrook Island (Franz Josef Land)- Bell Island (Franz Josef Land)- Arkhangelsk. However, the expedition route will be changed for sure as it depends on the weather and ice conditions.
Still about the weather
The day before I have talked to my friend Nikolay Gernet who accompanies tours on the atomic icebreaker “50 years of Victory” as an inspector of the national park “Russian Arctic”. He says that it was impossible to land in Tikhaya Bay because of storm. Also, there is complicated ice situation near the Franz Josef Land.
- The ice condition is quite well near the Cape Flora of Northbrook Island and Cape Tegenhoff of Hall Island. But we have time, the summer at Franz Josef Land has just began.
My brother once told me that we’ll have tossing tomorrow already: the wind speed (from the north-west) is 9 meters per second. I wish Misha would have been mistaken, but usually he is right when it comes to predicting the weather. Our captain confirmed his words and even promised that the wind speed would be 17 meters per second. When it is tossing it is important to secure all the equipment is fixed as well as all the fragile stuff. And then sit comfortably in order not to hit the upper sleep place, always be on the alert and be ready to jump off the place and prevent the unfixed things from falling (it always happens).
Severe toilets and what the most widespread sicknesses on board the vessel
The main event of today’s program (besides the evening meal of course) is surely ice-cream which was given to us after the briefing J.
That was a joke