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21 August, 2001

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Tuesday, 21 August 2001

Adjo is! (Goodbye ice!)

Life on Board

Tradition says that ice scientists have some sort of a ceremony upon leaving a long successful station. At 10 am, the ship's engines rumbled to life, crewmen went down to the ice to pull out the anchors, and people ran around making last minute tie-downs to their equipment. At 10:30 am, as we started to pull away from the ice floe that has been our home for 20 days, outside in the bitter wind on the seventh deck, we had a champagne toast to our successful endeavor. Skal! (Cheers!)

It is sort of strange approaching the end of this expedition after so much preparation and hard work. Strange but wonderful. Now our thoughts will start turning to home and back to the real world.

Where Are We Now?

For the first time in more than 3 weeks, we have crossed back over the 88th latitude line, heading south. At 9 pm this evening, our coordinates were 87o28' North by 3o30' East. Our captain (called Master on Swedish ships), Mats Johansson, believes that it will not be as difficult to icebreak now since the Arctic summer has softened the ice, so he expects to make good time through the ice as we head south towards the Marginal Ice Zone and Svalbard, where we will go into port.

Scientists at Work

We did a final CTD cast to 1000 meters depth at 7 am this morning to collect water samples. Of course, these samples had to be processed as we started moving through the ice. We also had yesterday's greenish yellowish melt pond samples to deal with. Icebreaking always makes labwork more interesting. For the rest of the day, crewmen and scientists were busy packing up crates and boxes and moving equipment into the holds below deck. Scientists will start looking at their data soon to try to piece together the story of the Arctic from a scientific viewpoint.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, heading out, north of 88,

Dena Rosenberger

Parting shot from the 7th deck.

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