Sunday, August 24, 2014

8/24/2014: Delfins in the Barents Sea, So long to good friends

Rob dissecting the his last clam in Ingoya
Our days in this place are winding down and afternoon brings the first departures of our crew. Rob, Irene, and Michael are now on the ferry to Hammerfest from which they will fly to Tromso later this evening. Goodbyes are always bittersweet in the field but knowing what I do of paths crossing in these fields there is always the possibility of running into your arctic friends at some airport with a dirt runway and the midnight sun. 
Time to pack
I get the back
Ferry coming in to Ingoya. This thing is a huge catamaran that can turn on a dime.
Loading the boat
Goodbye good friends
The ferry pulling a u-turn out of the bay
Prof. Retelle shooing the geese away to allow the return of the van
The big boat crew went out this morning to try and repeat the luck of finding live clams but the dredging was tough. It is all a matter of adjusting the line length, the ocean bottom type, dredge time, and water depth with parameters changing drastically with the tidal currents. They were able to come home with more shells though, lots of which are articulated meaning that both halves of the shells were still attached by their hinge. This implies the shells lived and died in the location they were picked up, lacking transport and meaning they do in fact live at such depths. 

Three of us ventured out on our own in the small boat to finish the water sampling and had a surprise visit from two very social delphins (Dolphin in Norwegian, bet you could'a figured). Below I've included many videos of them coming right next to and directly under our boats. I neglected to mention their brethren that was on the grill two nights earlier. Whale and dolphin are not unusual BBQ items in this region. Sorry Flipper.

Please ignore my commentary. For some reason I felt the need to constantly ask the dolphins how they are doing. No response...

The geese found safe haven in the harbor (plus it is day and illegal to hunt when it is light out…huh…) 
Bath time: they spent quite a while dunking themselves and spraying each other with sea water

Putin decided to swing by post-cod fishing
The final field work packaging the live clams from the deep

A few still shots of the delphins against the fjord in the background

Finally, a few random pictures picked up from photo sharing I figured I would insert here as things start to draw down…

A map of some of the raised beaches in the area, the goal for Monday's work is to get elevations on all of the 'stair-steps'
Mike completing some beach surveying 
Back from a day of dredging
I hear they are hiring at the local fish plant for the winter
Happy: We got live clams from 90 fathoms
Water sample in hand. Kind of looks like an ad for a new product: Are you hearty enough to do Arctic field work? If not, try "Latitude" it puts the attitude in...
What a view! 
I can't help but picture the clams we are keeping in the sea water as a chorus singing "ahhhhhh, ahhhhhh, auuuuuuhhhhhhhh!" 

Makes me chuckle every time and everyone thinks I'm mental. I also really get a kick out of horse farts but that is another story...

Our Russian friends depart to hunt geese
One of our hunter friends from next door
The clam crew shucking the live clams to take the clean shells home for research
Thorleif and Tommy getting ready to go set some nets
On an evening recon trip on 8/24 I took one blind step. Thought "ah, this should be fine." It wasn't. Then "You're a moron," wet shoes again.
Will met us with the van after the evening recon trip in preparation for Monday's surveying work

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