SEA ADVENTURE. AN OPINION. JULY 26th, 2007
Photo: Aleksej Nagaev ©
You feel a lost tourist on the ship. Hundred of scientists do their job, they are engaged with their equipment, mount laboratories, check all systems performance. The crew performs their daily routine. You are like a little shell on a whale’s skin which he can scrape down on a rock or a shipboard. Old seamen told me that once a whale came and started scratching on a shipboard while the ship was hove to.
And yet that repair… We anchored for half a day checking the engines, that is the oil level began to increase. One can not sail to Arctic with such stoppages. To get the needed spare parts we sent a helicopter to Murmansk. Then it was broadcasted on TV that we had been suffering distress and the “Russia” ice-breaker went to help us. How could they blurt it out? Journalists are crazy about hot news! The ice-breaker was just coming up to maintain smooth operation of the expedition and settle some working questions. The ships met at three o’clock in the night and proceeded as a pair. Arthur Chilingarov was rugged today. He brought the journalists from “Russia” channel with him for they made sure everything was okay onboard. People onboard the “Akademik Fedorov” joked gloomily: “Therefore, we are on the top lists of today’s news”. Now, the whole team has to phone home to calm their relatives down and assure them that everything was alright. Engineers had successfully done their work and we moved forward to the North at full speed.
The air was pure crystal and no smells at all. Or maybe it only seemed to me… Only once when I went on deck I tasted the salty sea air. I tasted this shrilling cold air, a very tasty frosty air. I took a deep breath and this delicate fragrance filled my chest. This repast is endless! Once you tasted this salty frosty air you will understand that in Moscow you live in a hellish stove.
On the very first day you are rough. Is it because of the new sights, or is it the freedom that besots you. You feel like you are at a resort on our ship. Only the frosty weather reminds you of the reality. The air is +6°C, water +6°C. If only it was warmer. I myself would wish to warm up. By the way, old seamen recommend you drink some wine which is the best remedy. But I don’t want to… A sense of reality cures better. But still. Engine noise, permanent rolling fill my head with strange feelings, I think it rolls with the ship. Something was buzzing in my head. I could not focus. I take pills for nausea which helps a little.
Despite this borderless freedom you are imprisoned and fully depend on the ship's size which looks like a chip on the eternal ocean. I even think Poseidon will make a joke and heave a wave, and shower you with cold salty water. Water! Sea! Ocean of water! Water was everywhere. Not a soul around. Only gulls – those fellows of every ship. For two days already they’ve been wheeling in the air above us. Maybe they hope to get some fish which the propeller screw may whip, or they just suffer loneliness. Who knows.
Divine beauty of the sky. The sky showed the whole of its palette. Yesterday it lifted the grey cloudy curtain and let in some sun. We got a double cake with sun filling. But the cold wind blows you into the cabin. Into habitual warmth.
Ocean! Vastness! Here it is the absence of borders and now I accept the ancient theory that the Earth is flat and the ocean is everywhere around, and beyond the ocean is eternity. And now I know the colour of aquamarine. It is a velvet emerald-bluish.
Today it has changed to dark, gloomy grey-blue. With each drop, with each passed kilometer you begin to realize the miracle of Nature – the main hostess of the World!
press-secretary of the Director General of MVK
”Akademik Fedorov”, “Arktika-2007”, Arctic ocean