The first leg of the expedition is now over and we have had the first crew change. Anni, Manu and Micha have left the island and Hugues, Pia, Saskia, Akoko and Leena have arrived instead.
The sea ice has cleared from around the island making it possible for the Team Zodiac to go probing for the more saline sea water. The water is filtered and partly analysed here on the island before packing the filters up to be transported back to Europe for further analyses.
The land-based team has been able to set up their measuring stations and are now collecting data and as soon as the weather goes down, we plan on having few long and packed days at the slumps.
The water in the cove is brown and turbid, the Mackenzie bringing in a lot of sediment with the snow melt water. The air temperature is cold, and two days ago the whole island flooded during the high tide moving our tents out of the camp ground. Luckily, not much got wet in the tents and above all the sleeping bags stayed dry. Today, the island is still flooded and with wind speed of 30km/h with gusts up to 65km/h we have spent the last two days mostly inside, either in the lab, preparing equipment or playing backgammon.
The other day we had our first sighting of a Grizzly bear. He was grazing on the other side of the cove, so we could observe him from a comfortable distance. Occasional seals come to check us out in the cove as well and show a lot of interest towards the people who run from the sauna to the icy cold Arctic Ocean.
The sense of time and day disappears quickly after landing on this tiny island and by now most of us have lost the count on what day it is. Time is kept up with by scheduling work for the “day part of the day”, but that might also slowly change if the weather continues to be better during the night or the early morning hours.
All in all, life is good. Work is progressing slowly but steadily and the team is in good spirits.