We set out for a journey, chasing the freshwater from an ancient ice sheet, on board “G.O. Sars” on June 6th on a brilliant day with sunshine and calm weather.
Text: Jochen Knies
In Germany, we call it “Ententeich”, a duck pond, a very rare occasion in the North Atlantic! As usual, getting familiar with the vessel takes time. We spent the first day on security briefing, getting to know the ship and the crew, but also adjusting to the new reality of COVID-19 restriction. People keep social distancing and the meals are served in shifts so that not more than four persons occupy one table.
But we also managed to unpack equipment, and familiarize ourselves with the lab facilities, as well as plan the first stations for collection of data. Our team consists of researchers with plenty of cruise experience. There are very few things I need to explain. Joining me are geologists, geophysicists, biologists, and engineers from NGU, CAGE/UiT, Nord University, NTNU, and NPD. I am quite fortunate to see smiley faces all over the boat. The weather definitely helps!
We followed a scenic route from Tromsø passing Finnsnes, Senja, Tjeldsund, and will cross the Lofoten Islands before we reach our first station on the Lofoten continental margin. It will be tomorrow morning before breakfast. The vessel stopped right after Finnsnes to test the ROV Ægir. Everything is working! The only back draw is that the multibeam system mounted on the ROV is not functioning.
We use this device to create super-high-resolution bathymetric maps of the seafloor which helps to guide the ROV and supports the sampling strategy. We have to find alternatives! Most likely, we will pick up an engineer on Tuesday in Ålesund to help fix the problem. We will see!