Going home

Going home. Photo: Ulf Hedman

We are still in ice. We had a hectic time. Station by station by station. Station 1 to over 60. Fast, effective and furious. Did all we wanted in the ice.

Last station in sunshine with a hot dog party on bow deck. End of the prioritized plan. Two days steaming to bonus plan and stations. Wrangel Island: the large mysterious island there in the north. Found on the account of De Long too. Full of polar bears., packed with polar bears. A man is known to have lived there for decades without a rifle. Only a wooden stick perfectly placed in spots polar bears don’t like. Perhaps he is still alive? All others use rifle and not all of them are alive.

Wind at Wrangel. Too much wind. We cannot do the station. We do Multibeam, looking for something. Canyon, seeps, more? We do two lines for perhaps two days plus steaming. Met service says no change within the forecast time. Waves and swell stop us. We retreat into the ice. We rest, we right, we pack. Lots of writing and lots of packing.
We are in Point Barrow soon. Barrow is the end. End for most of us. We start thinking of going home. Thinking of home and writing reports. We have two days steaming to go but we stay in the ice. We do not want to part. Or is it the wind presently in Barrow that keeps us away. Only the Captain knows

A rotation is a carrousel. Planes coming in and leaving. Immigrations. Customs. Luggage. People. Eat. Sleep where? What can we do? Does internet exist? Does mobile works? We pack and think and gradually come closer to home. Crew change in Barrow. The end for us. A long summer has gone. We only saw ice. Our summer was different. Not all of us goes home, nine goes back with Oden for 45 more days. Into autumn and winter. Getting dark. Getting cold. They are the though. They are brave. We go home. Most of us…

But new are coming. Manning the ship in Barrow. With everything ahead. The plans untouched. Ready to be played out. In a new setting. New crew. New direction. Going west. Going home.