Welcome aboard

Reaching Oden was comfier and smoother than we all expected it to be. We first flew with the US Air Force from Kangerlussuaq to Thule air base. And that flight was awesome! The crew was incredibly relaxed and friendly, letting us walk to the cockpit and around as much as we wanted. It was warm, it had toilets (someone joked to me there would only be a bucket), and we could lie down! Not the awkward half-cramped bending in between armrests that you do in a normal plane, but a proper lying like in bed! And there is nothing covering the various pipes and hydraulics, so I could watch how the plane truly works. Anyway, you get it, I really enjoyed that flight!

Inside the plane

Then we had the second surprise: how were we to reach the ship? When we were all in Kangerlussuaq on Tuesday, the crew said they themselves did not know yet how the connection between the pier and the ship –anchored offshore– would be made. But when we arrived, everything ran smoothly. Some went in a tiny boat, I was in a decent tugboat, and we all enjoyed a magical ride among icebergs with the ship slowly appearing in the distance.

Sun, icebergs and Oden – no better way to start the cruise

Once aboard and after lunch, we started with a safety briefing. We learnt what the fire alarm sounds like and what the various fire safety equipments on board are. We were shown our muster point and the lifeboats, and had to practice putting the (oversized) emergency/evacuation suits and the lifejackets. We even had a tour of the ship, from the engine room to the bridge. Then just before dinner we had a drill and went again to our muster point, this time without being guided. Most people made it, at least once reminded which side is starboard vs portside.

Donning the suits to abandon ship, including squatting to tighten them and struggling to put the gloves on by yourself

Finally after dinner we started working, unpacking what we had left in June during mobilisation, and installing the sensors on the CTD. All of that with regular breaks to enjoy the view. Next: wiring the CTD with the help of the crew, our first ice breaking, and maybe our first CTD cast…

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