As I was sitting in the C-17 military aircraft en route to Thule, Greenland, it began dawning on me that I am going to the Arctic! Even the journey to the Arctic was an adventure in itself. We flew to Newburgh, NY where I finally got the chance to meet the team and finally begin putting faces to the names I’ve seen on paper or screens for so long. After a full day of orientation, we loaded our things onto the C-17 and began our journey. Let me start by saying that I could get used to flying in those aircrafts! It was a little bit louder than a normal aircraft, but there was room to actually get up and walk around. I even had the opportunity to join the pilots up in the cockpit and that was amazing! I could definitely get used to that view! As comfortable as the flight was though, I was glad when we finally got the prompt that we were landing.
After stepping off of the plane, we were all loaded into a bus and taken to the dock. And there it was. My home away from home for the next 18 days. The Icebreaker Oden seemed so small from the distance, but as we began bridging that distance I realized just how HUGE this ship was! Not only was the ship impressive in size, it was downright beautiful. The crew
immediately made me feel welcomed and a little bit more at ease. Being surrounded by icebergs, I was suddenly made very aware of the fact that I was no longer in Florida. We were welcomed by the crew with a welcome dinner which gave us all a chance to get to know each other better and it was incredible to be surrounded by such a group of diverse, enthusiastic people. We have people from California, New York, Florida and even Nunavut, CA!
For the first few days we were getting adjusted to it being bright for 24 hours a day, that in itself is mind boggling. We’ve been on the lookout for seals, whales and polar bears, so far no luck, but I am not giving up!!! And yesterday we spent the day learning how to tie knots to secure our equipment on deck which was pretty fun. Fun fact, my favorite is the clove hitch! We have been working on setting up and calibrating the drone and ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) to be able to get a visual underneath the water. Hopefully we get both of these up in the air and onto the water soon!
All in all it’s been pretty interesting, especially considering that it’s so so different from anything I’ve experienced. Should be a wild ride! Until next time, stay frosty!