The vessel is currently being prepared for the forthcoming expedition. We are having the barnacled underwater hull cleaned in a dry dock, the vessel is being recolored with a new coat of paint, and all the essential machinery is being dismantled and tested at the Murmansk shipyard.
The works on painting the R/V Kartesh are proceeding to completion. The waterline is being marked, and we are having anchors, loadlines and other elements painted. The propeller and the shaft are being put back on their places. We will launch the ship shortly, and the final expedition arrangements will be made.
The first Polar Expedition Gallery exhibition opened in Kandalaksha, Murmansk Oblast, on October 3. This exhibition is our first event to open beyond the Arctic Circle. Fortunately, the exhibition opening chimed with the Teacher’s day, and all the teachers of the town managed to visit our event and bring their students along. The exhibition ends on October 24. Pictures by A. Yermakov and Y. Amelin.
It eventually grew colder and snow was falling. The weather was changeable, calm periods turned into squally wind and snow flurries. It became even colder by the evening, and aurora borealis emerged in the sky.
While R/V Kartesh is on the berth, the crew is making final preparations: we are stocking up on food, fuel, fresh water and checking equipment. Preparations are vital for any expedition, and marine expeditions require having everything on board, as the ship in the Barents Sea is like a deserted island. Harborages are rare; settlements are small and poorly supplied. The weather is frosty since the end of October, the snow fell long ago, and squally wind is blowing even in the Murmansk harbor waters. Dock dogs are man’s best friend. One can always find them at the galley. Low tides are up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) at the harbor wall.
While the crew was preparing the RV Kartesh, the photographers did not stop working: they were shooting the Murmansk harbor and dockyard as well as town landscapes. The Polar Expedition Gallery photographers Yaroslav Amelin, Andrey Bronnikov, Alexander Vaynshtein, Artyom Vasilkov, Vladimir Vaskin, Sergey Vetokhov, Alexander Terekhov, Andrey Yermakov and Andrey Kremnyov visited Kandalaksha, Teriberka, Liinakhamari, Monchegorsk and explored the vicinities of Murmansk.
We have been waiting for the morning to break, taking refuge from the night storm between the mainland and Kildin Island. The day is very short, no longer than 5 hours, but the low transpolar light provides fantastic conditions for the photographers.
The thirteenth of November. After having returned to the vessel, we dried up our clothes and checked equipment. The wind was still strong, and we decided against sailing into high seas, as landing on an undeveloped beach during heavy sea is impossible. We adopted the only possible decision to head to Teriberka when the weather calms down.
In the evening of November 14, we started exploring the coast from Teriberka to Teriberka waterfall. On November 15 and 16, taking advantage of good weather, we shot more than seven kilometers (4.3 miles) of the most picturesque coastline of the Barents Sea.