Stowaway parakeet?

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So we’re still bashing our way through the ice, it’s like being on a very rough railway or on a plane in turbulence. Counterintuitive on a ship. Actually like the sleeper train to Penzance, we stop and sit for a bit and then back up (uncoupling the buffet car in Plymouth), then take a bit of a run up. Sometimes it takes a few backups to get through thick ice. The blue stuff seems to be harder multi-year ice that’s tough to get through and occasionally you glance at the nav screens that display speed and heading etc. and find that we turned around or we’re heading for the N Pole, I guess because we have to find an easier way through. This all looks like a lot of fun for the helm who gets to drive Oden like a dodgem rather than sitting looking at the autopilot. We’re running on 4 engines now so that means an (unconfirmed but still Holy Shit!) 50 to 60 tonnes of fuel a day.

We have the sub-bottom profiler running, it’s called a chirp and sounds like a very regular parakeet that gets more excited as the water gets shallower and cheeps more often. Right now it’s pretty deep and the chirp is kind of relaxed about it all, it’s also kind of useful on deck as after a while you get a good sense of how deep the water is.

My presentation went really well, lots of people were saying how much they enjoyed it. I think people just liked looking at pictures of green things so I had an advantage to start with. It was fun to do as well, I haven’t sat down and ordered my thoughts and some images for a while and it was nice to share stories of mud and hippo’s.

Loving this rollicking, rolling, bucking ship life. A couple of years ago I was reading these peoples journal articles, dreaming of fieldwork campaigns that involved icebreakers, Arctic voyages and deep sea cores, polar bears, snow scooters, rifles and hot water ice drills. Now I’m having breakfast with them, the scientists not the Polar Bears (and lunch and dinner and fika!) and discussing methane sampling, salinity profiles and the potential impact of a catastrophic thawing of gas hydrates on climate change. This is going to be one of those research trips that gets written about for years and is way past the pinching oneself end of the scale.
All in all having an awesome time and we haven’t even started doing the coring yet. Tomorrow is the first station and it’ll definitely be chaotic and muddy and cold and tiring and hopefully fun.

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