Cruise Blog by Frances Cooke: Day 5
July 11th, 2021
Text and photo: Frances Cooke (PhD Candidate in the Gas Hydrates and Free Gas Reservoirs research group at CAGE, working within the SEAMSTRESS project).
We arrived into Longyearbyen 05:50 on what was a very pleasant morning. We tied up to the wharf in view of the seed vault and joining us were three adult common eider ducks (ærfugl) and their 21 ducklings, together with two adult barnacle geese (Hvitkinngås in Norwegian – ‘white cheek goose’). I had initially thought that the eider ducks were pink-footed geese, until Stormer corrected me. He told me a story about an ærfugl he found on the aft of the Kronprins Håkon. On a cold, stormy November day while on the way to Greenland, Stormer moved a stack of pallets to prepare for coring, and there standing before him was a duck. The duck was standing so still, the first thought that came to mind was “who brings a wooden duck onboard?” He took a step forward to take a closer look, to find that the duck was in fact a real duck. An ærfugl. The crew kept her warm and fed, and released her back into the wild in Tromsø.
Two barnacle geese, three common eider ducks and their 21 ducklings
It was a quick turnaround, and we left Longyearbyen at 15:00 after our new crew member joined the ship. The plan is to deploy the seismic at 03:00 on our return back to site, however plans can quickly change and the order of activities is dependent on the weather forecast. We left behind bright skies in Longyearbyen, with a striking display of cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds. After eating match-worthy food – chili and nachos, and watching the intense euros finals game, we wait three more hours and hope that the waves will calm for the seismic deployment.
Prins Karls Forland in the distance with magnificent cloud formations – originally named Prince Charles’ Foreland after King James’ son in 1612.
Read more about the SEAMSTRESS project here.