Yesterday morning, sun rose above a widely open fjord, pack ice has been blown away during Saturday's little storm! Luckily, Vagabond is still securely frozen in, ice in Inglefield Bay resisted. Expected supplies arrived; our first visitors gave a short but nice excitement. While cold, wind, snow and currents are sculpting pack ice again, our work field, we are well busy discovering what is inside all these boxes and starting the new experiments... Many pictures should be soon added here.
That's it, we saw him! One more time, the intensity of his light surprised and touched us. Until now, full moon, then twilight, were lighting brilliantly our days. We had slowly forgotten about broad daylight... For his return, the sun offered us an unforgettable festival, announced the previous evening by wonderful northern lights. But since, temperature raised terribly: +2°C, but we should not think this is a direct effect from the sun, such milder weather is not rare in Spitsbergen in winter. The first supply trip (scientific equipment, fresh food, mail...), planned today, is delayed for a few days, snow conditions are now too tricky for snowmobiles.
Every day, well installed on pack ice, we are watching for glow from the sun, at noon, in the south... If its beams didn't dazzle us yet, even for few seconds, the polar night is finished. Solar panels are set up and already giving us shortly some little amperes! For the last several days, at lunch time, stars have been disappearing and candles are not necessary anymore. But to paint the 18 watercolours ordered by Marek Kaminski, as the week went by, France had to use constantly her head lamp!
Next week, at noon, a little bit of sun will appear for few minutes. Hopefully the horizon will be clear! For now, wind and snow are inviting us to enjoy inside Vagabond. Temperature suddenly rose up to -12°C; But with 40 km/h of wind, the felt temperature was the same as yesterday: -32°C. But still, despite calm and silence associated with yesterday's cold and dry weather, the meteorological sounding, with the helium balloon, was not easy. Sensors were freezing, generator was stalling, cables were breaking up... but the valuable data has been saved, under an impassive full moon. And as usual, France and Léonie came to feed the dogs, at the end of the day.
Amélie, Hervé and Naël invited by Jean-Luc Delarue to a program about global warming, after their 3 months stay on board Vagabond.
For the last 2 weeks, temperatures have been fluctuating between 0 and -10°C, with very light winds. Our feeling being off time is even stronger. Outside, senses are standing by, very little appealed: the least little noise is absorbed by snow, sight is slowly coming back with twilight (from 10:20 to 13:40), smells are hibernating, touch is limited with our mitten and snow suits, and we cannot find a tasty bite to eat. Back inside the boat, our senses are waking up: music, lights, kitchen smells, free fingers and light clothes, choice of salty or sweet food and drinks!
On the phone with Arielle Cassim, yesterday, in le Quotidien de la Mer, on Radio France Internationale.
Eric and France by phone with Arielle Cassim in le Quotidien de la mer, on RFI from 12:40 am to 1 pm.
Yesterday noon, while a little twilight was giving us some visibility around, a young bear turned up quickly! He visited the dogs, came back to Vagabond, then again near the dog houses, and finally went on. But no sign of his mother, although he was quite young to be alone; he should have followed her until age of 2,5 years old... In the dark, when measuring ice thickness, I usually go with Zagrey: if he doesn't like to pull a sledge, he is good to tell when a prowler is nearby.