The expedition vessel that will bring the researchers to Svalbard, the Ortelius, is currently docked in the harbour of Hansweert, a small village in the south western part of the Netherlands. There is a lot of buzz in the harbour with work men, trucks riding in and out, and continuous work meetings on board. This is all needed to prepare the vessel for the upcoming summer season in the Arctic.
Photo:The expedition vessel is docked in the harbour to be prepared for the upcoming summer season in the Arctic.
Last week we (Annette Scheepstra and Frits Steenhuisen of the Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen, and Hans Verdaat and Martine van den Heuvel-Greve of IMARES) visited the vessel to make an appointment for the transfer of all expedition material to the vessel next week, and to find the best places for our bird-observation-box and the lab tables for our marine work. Despite the fact that it is a large vessel, it wasn’t easy to find a good practical position for both as every part of the vessel already has its own function. But we managed to find a solution in good agreement and hoisted the bird-box on board the same afternoon. The first piece of expedition equipment is on board!
Over the past weeks several knowledge institutes in the Netherlands have delivered their expedition boxes to IMARES. We are collecting and storing them before we transfer them to the vessel next week. The stack of boxes is growing every week and we still have one week to go...