We just left the inspiring and magical Frans Jozef Islands behind us and are on our way to the normal world of Murmansk city. We said goodbye to the inaccessible shores of the impressive glaciers and the basalt mountains, to the polar bears that were mostly fast asleep, to the walruses that curiously swam around us, the many birds on the birdrocks and the narwhale that didn't show itself and to the ten people we met on the two stations that were still run (more on that in the next update). We are back on the wide open Barentz sea.
It's unbelievable what the ocean does to you body. The moment you enter the ocean and big rolling waves make the boat go up and down. Up front, where my own bed is, you feel your body being lifted from the bed every time the boat goes down again. It's as if your bed is put inside some rollercoaster. And it doesn't last for just a few minutes, it lasts for days...
Walking is difficult, dressing is almost impossible. The only comfortable position is actually either in your bed (despite being turned upside down all the time) or outside behind the steering wheel. But after half an hour the steering wheel position start to feel less comfortable as well because of the cold and wet wind blowing in your face and your feet slowly getting cold. And these are the phenomenon's which are actually quite comfortable, while I did not mention sea sickness yet. The stomach has no idea what's happening and why you have to be up in the air constantly and you can't just sit still. For some people on board the first few days are spend in bed.
I'm lucky I don't feel any sea sickness at the moment, and still, it feels like I ran a marathon the last few days. As soon as we hit the ocean waves, my body decided it was in big need of sleep and I could not keep my eyes open. The days consist of a four hour watch, then sleeping and eating. But then again; don't get all the up to the Arctic in a day!
Luckily it's only another four long days till we reach the shore again.