News from Russia – III

September 16, 2017

Today we made a stop at Sannikova at 6 am to ‘deliver' 8 meteorologists and their equipment for an 8 month stay at the station. Being on the boat for 2 days now, we better understand the supply chain process. Natalya is the person in charge of it. She buys all the equipment and food required in Arkhengelsk in June, and then she delivers the freight at each weather station the Somov visits. So, she and Alexander, the helicopter pilot, are the key people that keep the weather stations alive. 

SOMOV Captain Andrey Demeshin (l.) with film director Bertrand Delapierre. En route to Henrietta and Jeannette islands.

SOMOV Captain Andrey Demeshin (l.) with film director Bertrand Delapierre.
En route to Henrietta and Jeannette islands.

The helicopter made 6 rounds of drop-offs, including large metal containers, at the station. The sea is very calm and the sky has beautiful colors which are diffused by an almost constant lingering fog. On the boat, people are getting to know each other. Interesting conversations are sprouting, for example, Eric and Zarina discussing shamanism at length. The former presenting his scientific knowledge in anthropology the latter expressing how she found inner strengths to transmit the Yakutian shaman culture through her music. 

Russian geoinformatician scientist Natalya Volgusheva relaxing between two drone flights

Russian geoinformatician scientist Natalya Volgusheva relaxing between two drone flights

Adrien is battling a cold but Serguei, a proud Russian ground engineer, offered to give him an almost stereotypical Russian healing procedure: sauna (heated by the engine), traditional Russian birch-branch slapping, followed by a healthy douse of sea water, and ending with shots of vodka (of course) with lemon. He says he feels better...

Andreas and Zarina went to discover the impressive engine room in order to record some metallic sounds, rhythms, and vibrations that they describe as the heart of the boat to use for their music. 

On the SOMOV, cables or braids?

On the SOMOV, cables or braids?

Meanwhile Luc is spending his time on the bridge with the captain to check the itinerary and prepare the first stop in De Long Islands: Bennett? Henrietta? All will depend on the next weather forecasts as the relatively clement weather we have enjoyed so far might deteriorate in the next few days.