Had a scare the day before yesterday when someone told me we wouldn’t see more ice. Open water from now on. Turns out we’re going back north for a rendez-vous with the Lomonosov Ridge though, which thankfully seems to be an icy spot. I really want to fish some ice with a bucket before this is over, so knowing that it’s not too late turned my frown upside down. I would love to go deeper into the ice. Big fat blue ice hunks that shoot up in the air when breaking through it.

PhD student Barrientos and I had a fun night in the bar talking to the russian colleagues the other night. They wanted to reroute the expedition via the north pole! Big target, Sascha said. I promised them to talk to the captain the following morning, but lost my guts and didn’t keep that word. Rumors say that Tom Flodén can drive the boat, so maybe I’ll talk to him about it.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time out back recently. I wanted more mud and the coring crew told me that I’m welcome to collect the leftovers that they clean off anyways. So now I get in my overalls whenever a multicore is going down and I clean the feet of the octopus-like contraption collecting brown gold in a strawberry jam bucket. I have two buckets, one for brown art mud and one for blue grey glacial art mud. I really like it out there. It makes me feel like I finally joined the real expedition. Cold hands, red ears, steel toes and lots of messy action.

Last week, on friday night, I had a presentation of my work for everyone in the mess hall. I mainly showed stuff from the last couple years to give an understanding of what I do, but also a bit about what I’m working on here. It went well and already led to several interesting conversations. It feels nice to know that people are aware of what I’m up to when I’m sneaking around the boat with random objects.

Work is going pretty well with new discoveries at a decent pace. Yesterday involved falukorv (sausage), diving watches and turning my container into a spa. Feels a bit crazy that we only have two more weeks to go actually. Something definitely changed after passing the mid cruise mark as days started flying by. I just hope it won’t be too rocky that last week on the way back to Norway. It’d be nice to be able to work to the end and not have to lie around with a green face due to ship motion.

Today is one of those days. It’s the highest swell we’ve had this far and activity seems to be really low. No coring or CTD and the boat is almost empty – at least visibly. A few of us are reading or working in the ugly green leather couches, but most people are hiding away somewhere. Probably resting in their cabins. Hoping for tomorrow to be more calm as it’s the birthday of my bunk mate John and a celebratory sauna is on the schedule. Very much looking forward to that and the thursday night bar refill.