Extended journey…

Perfect conditions during our last night-time CTD a few days ago. (Photo: V. Dundas)

Vår reports from Malik Arctica:

For the last week, one of the main topics on board has been the Covid-situation in South Africa, and whether we could get off the ship here and fly back home as planned. When everything is considered, it probably does not come as a surprise to anyone that we will not be departing from Cape Town. Instead, we’re staying on the ship, possibly all the way to back Ålborg. Options for us to get off at a closer port is still being considered, but as of now, we don’t know what the final decision will be.

When this scenario was described to me in October it was considered highly unlikely, and I regarded it as something that had to be said in order to not promise more than could strictly be promised. I never really considered it as something that could actually happen. Not being able to get home when you expect after 8 weeks at sea is tough. I never thought the “hverdag”, the every-day life, in Bergen would be so tempting to get back to! Still, there’s nothing we can do, and at least we know that by staying on the ship, sooner or later we will be back home – we’re not risking getting stuck in a lockdown anywhere.

It will be strange to dock in the Cape Town port tomorrow and know that we were supposed to be home in two or three days. Instead, it will most likely be three more weeks. At least we’re headed back into warm and sunny weather, which absolutely helps with the mood. So we’re staying positive and trying to regard this as some sort of seagoing workshop.

Who knows, maybe I’ll have finished my article by the time we get home?

Our jurney so far: Corona-quarantine in Ålborg, stormy seas in Biscay, moving our instrumentation back and forth and back again, licking sun north of the equator, whale watching, the first penguins on a lonely iceberg, ice shelf work, mooring operations, and the start of our journey back home. (Photo: V. Dundas)