Day 10 - July 3, 2009 - At Sea / Tromso

By Stefan Kredel, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 70°22’49’’N / 20°36’31’’E
Weather: cloudy
Air Temperature: 2,5°C
Pressure: 1019 hPa

Finally a morning at sea! And actually the whole day will be at sea. Even so, from about 12:00 o’clock, we were at the Norwegian coastline. So we have a relaxing day as a final day of our voyage. There are quite a few lectures on during the day, with quite different subjects. But first of all, most of us took the chance to sleep in a bit without missing anything by doing so. It was also my first day staying longer in bed than 07:00, and by far I was not even the last for breakfast when I went to The Restaurant just before 09:00!

At 09:30, the first lecture started. It was Robin Aiello, talking about “Sea monsters, Serpents and Mermaids – Fact or Fiction”. Even though I had no chance to follow the lecture, I heard from quite a few guests positive comments about her talk. She showed what kind of animals may have been the origin for some of the myths around the oceans.

Next on was Conrad, our fearless Expedition Leader. His talk “Small Ship Cruising: Dream Holiday or Ultimate Bad Day” was a view behind the scenes about what has to be considered when planning a trip like we just did from getting the right ship and looking at different aspects for the routing (like provisioning, guests’ interest, distances to the next harbor…). He also gave an interesting history of the Prince Albert II and her former life as the “new” World Discoverer. And finally, we saw what is meant with the “Ultimate Bad Day”, like he experienced it with the “old” World Discoverer. As I was just at the sight where she is still lying at the beach (Solomon Islands), I could even provide him with some new photos of her. Even though he talked nearly 1½ hours (and he always tells me not to talk longer then 45 minutes…), no one fell asleep while he gave this entertaining talk.

After lunch, there was a bit of time for a nap, some packing or whatever else someone wanted to do. I decided to start writing the log. Now I will go outside looking a bit at the Norwegian coastline.

I am back! What happened the rest of the day? My geology colleague gave a nice talk about “Glacier Ice”. He was talking about the different kinds of ice and glaciers, and their remains in the landscape. And even though there is the saying “Two geologists – three different opinions”, I have to admit that I agreed with what he said … 

After the last teatime onboard for this trip, our resident photographer Camille showed her digital photo and film review. So we had the chance to see one more time our whole trip in a 50-minute review combined out of movie sequences and photos. Like always, she did a superb job, not only by doing great shots, but also by editing it in an artistic way and finding the right music for each of the scenes. Quite amazing what all we have been seeing within the last 10 days! And as the DVD can be purchased, it is definitely a great way for refreshing the memories about this trip to the Arctic, or showing the family at home how it was.

After that, there was not much time to get ready for the “Farewell Cocktail Party”. Captain Peter Stahlberg invited us all into The Theater. In his speech he left no doubt that in his opinion we had a very successful expedition in the archipelago of Svalbard. And I think all our guests who were here for the first time, and also those of us who work here already for many years agreed. Captain Peter, as he prefers to be called, also thanked the entire crew, as this trip wouldn’t be possible without such a highly motivated and flexible crew. A lot of them managed to come on stage, and so we saw many of the crew members whom we hadn’t ever seen as they work in non-public places like the laundry or the engine room, for example.

After the cocktail party, The Restaurant staff was already waiting for us, for the “Captain’s Farewell Dinner”, which was superb as always.

Later, we were alongside in Tromso, and even though there was the chance to join the Saturday nightlife of this city in the midnight sun, most stayed onboard. And so did I.