A November cruise towards Greenland is challenging. You only realise it when you face it.
Text and photos: Jochen Knies, researcher NGU
Chief scientist’s diary
With heavy winds in the Fram Strait, it took us more than a full day to cross the Atlantic before we met the sea ice of the East Greenland current; water masses that export the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean towards the South. Another 24 hours passed by attempting to reach the shelf edge where we expected to find the natural methane seeps. The shallowest point we reached was 1100 m water depth. All equipment was deployed for water sampling, sediment coring, and bathymetric data acquisition.
The surface waters in the Greenland Sea are so crystal-clear that you can follow the instruments far below the sea surface. A wonderful sight!
After a 24-hour long “ramming” back and forth into the sea ice, we decided to abandon the site and our hopes to reach the shallower waters. We are heading south now with some expectations that the ice will let us pass. Fingers crossed!