Now I begin the next stage of this adventure as I travel from the tip of Chile to the Amundsen Gulf in the Canadian Arctic. The ship I leave behind is the Polarstern and I miss her and the scientists and crew of ANTXXIV/3 terribly. The tragic events of that cruise will forever be etched into my memory and I will never forget those friends we lost. On all cruises strong bonds are formed between shipmates but more so in particular when hard times are endured and without doubt these were the hardest times I ever faced at sea. Needless to say it seems strange to be without those people who have become so familiar to me and almost like a second family. My trip from Antarctica to the Arctic took many days and nights as shown on the movie. Lucky I had a few days break in Quebec to visit the University of Laval, with whom we are collaborating on this expedition. The final stage made it all seem worthwhile though, as we flew in over the sea ice and landed next to my new icy home aboard the Canadian Cost Guard Ship ‘Amundsen’. I will spend 12 weeks on this vessel investigating the viruses and their interactions with the microbial populations which develop as the ice melts throughout the spring.
By the time I leave again, the ice that is currently surrounding us will have completely disappeared and we will be floating in a more typical seascape. Over the coming 3 months I will keep you updated as to how the science and life in general is going onboard Amundsen.