We are intensively preparing the vessel for the expedition during the last week before departing. The largest part of the equipment is already on board. We still have to buy rations and expendable supplies, and do the fuel and oil bunkering. We pay careful attention to the way the food supplies are stored, as we have to buy them in advance for the whole period of expedition, which is almost three months.
We receive the clearance on July 19, and it is a matter of few hours to purchase everything not purchased yet, remember everything forgotten or left behind, send the unsent emails and have plenty of cell phone conversation. After we exit the Kola bay, the mobile coverage will be poor regardless of the mobile network operators. Novaya Zemlya, for instance, is a sanctuary from the mobile phones.
The now-abandoned settlement of Rynda with a history of several centuries, is now represented by several dilapidated houses populated in summer by fishermen. The ancient graveyard disappears in the low grass of the magnificent sand shore of the Barents Sea.
We cross the Throat of the White Sea in the afternoon; the weather is excellent, the sun shines and the sea is calm. The nearby military training exercises gave us a pause to test the equipment installed in Murmansk: winches and an A-frame. The LMSU Marine Research Center specialists conduct first research activities. We arrive at Kanin Nos in the evening.
Now it’s a straight way for us to Naryan-Mar, and to meet the deadline, we make no stops. We passed through the Cheshskaya Bay, a relatively shallow part of the Barents Sea. At a certain point the sea turns flat and calm. The sky fuses with the sea, the sea fuses with the air, the air fuses with the water.
We pick up a group of the Marine Mammal Council researchers from the Lyamchin Peninsula. Three photographers disembark and will wait for our return from Naryan-Mar. We now have the opportunity to take pictures of walruses.