Expedition Diaries 2017

July 20. Day 13

July 20. Day 13

Putin was here

The base of national park “Omega” is situated currently at this place, currently building base of Northern fleet as well as base of polar bears as has said Kolesnikov.

On the one hand, Aleksandra Land is the place of birth with a number of dens. But on the other hand, here is a pathway of polar bears when they move from one coast of Aleksandra Land to another one between two glaciers. This path may cause potential conflicts.

Nowadays inspectors of the national park “Russian Arctic” see polar bears constantly. There is a flaw so that polar bears could hunt for walruses. The bears not skinny and not fat this year. There are no fat bears at the FJL. One of our inspectors said that he saw how a bear had eaten a floe-flat at once. Normally they do it several days. Not far from the place of our landing there was cave which was visited Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev and Sergej Shojgu but it was impossible for us to get there because of ice. Jesus was very disappointed that he had forgotten the T-shirt with Putin in the cabin.

Group of geologists went to basalts to take samples and the soil researches were able to work on plat as well as near the place of landing. While some people worked, the fog appeared. Firstly, a glacier disappeared and then icebergs and the dark mountain was the last. Milica worked today with geologists and snarled everyone up saying “Milizia will have landing”, “Milizia?”, - were shocked people on mainland.  Elena Gusakova and Anna Trofimova took soil samples on metagenomics analysis. They needed samples from the places were where were no people activity till this time. Aleksandra Land is one of the most inhabited island of the Franz Josef Land is mostly suitable.

Yesterday in Tikhaya Bay they also took samples in order to look on microbial groups close-up. In Tikhaya Bay still exists lime which was brought here in big amounts. As Elena explained microbe groups in such anthropogenic sectors would be possible to compare with ones from undisturbed places. In perspective it will be possible to identify who can live among petrochemicals and even feed on it. At the same time Elena and Anna took samples of organic and nonorganic unions for better understanding how biological coexists with chemical one.

— Now it is important to create a methodology, to look what range of unions exists and is it possible to work with this material. Methods of molecular biology which we use with DNA and RNA are very soft and sensitive. That`s why methodology is very important and we decided to use RNA because they are very unstable and show situation at present time.

Also we would like to fix how RNA conserves in saline water at minus 20 degrees without freezing in fluid nitrogen.  According to another project we need samples of nature in order to understand how this pollution could be transmitted over food chains. A fish ate a plankton, the fish is eaten by a bird which is eaten by a human.

— We are interested in what finally humans get, understanding processes of accumulation and collection, - as explained Elena. In each phase all refuse accrues. That`s why we need samples of all chain stages.

Together with Jesus I have found 2 eggs which will be examined on all these concerns.

So it is important to be very careful and watch under your feet.

Fog and no meetings

We left the Aleksander Land in complete fog. Nearby was the vessel Sea Spirit and Roman Ershov, the director of national park “Russian Arctic”, greeted our expedition. We even had idea to come closer- that`s always interesting.  But it seems that someone have heard our plans and added more fog. Ice floats crashed the hull of Molchanov vessel and examined it on stability. No one shuddered because we got used to it on thirteenth day are now we are sea wolves and polar explorers.

It was planned that we would approach the Flora Cape on Northbrook Island. Dmitry Kovalev promised us good weather and suitable for a landing. 


July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13
July 20. Day 13

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Updated 12.07.2017