Early in the morning we, the eight scientists of IMARES, gathered at Schiphol airport on Monday 17 August 2015. We were not the only ones. More brightly blue coloured expedition coats were spotted at the airport. Around twenty fellow expeditioners were on the same flight, travelling from Oslo to Longyearbyen, the capital of Spitsbergen. Prior to and during the flights we got acquainted and exchanged research ideas and plans. What an enthusiastic group and this way we already started our expedition!
Photo top right: Landed on Longyearbyen Airport (Photo: Martine van den Heuvel-Greve)
In the midnight sun we saw the first parts of Svalbard appear between the pink coloured clouds. Pointed mountain tops and glaciers without an end. A special flight and great to be in Spitsbergen!
In our guesthouse, an authentic mining house, we unpacked our heavy loaded bags, filled with waterproof pants, long underwear, hats, scarves and gloves.
Tuesday was a day filled with meetings, getting to know more members of our expedition, exploring the area and the first sampling. Unfortunately our planned trip to sample in the fjord near Barentsburg was cancelled due to strong wind.
Tomorrow we board the Ortelius and everyone can get started!