September 20, 2019

We left Tromsø Camping and transported all our bags to the shipyard. There, we loaded everything onto the ship, including all of the sea bags full of Arctic outer wear. You had to step carefully as the gangway steps were open and the metal was very slippery! Teamwork ensured everything and everyone made it aboard without incident. 

We were disappointed to hear that our departure was delayed by a day. Polarstern would leave as scheduled but Akademik Fedorov had to wait until the following morning, as there was one more package due to arrive that was needed for the expedition. Flexibility was important, the schedule changed daily throughout the expedition to accommodate weather, equipment and safety. Alas, our adventure would have to wait one more day!

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Almost departing (© Rosalie McKay)

We didn’t know it at the time but this would be the last time we saw Polarstern for a couple weeks. It had been planned for the two ships to travel together but later storm systems, a buoy mission and the delayed departure resulted in the two ships taking separate courses to the sea ice. This imparted a sense of solitude on our travels.