It is Thursday evening, day 7 of our quarantine life in Malmö. The window is open, and the seagulls scream over the rooftops in the mild evening. It is not without longing for Oden and the sea. But, on Saturday, it's finally time! Then we leave the hotel in buses that will take us to Råå, where Oden's lifeboats are waiting to transport us out to her. She's waiting there, a bit out, at anchor.
The days in quarantine have been filled with preparations, and time has passed fast. We have seen each other at video meetings every day. We have talked, checked that everyone is well, listened to engaging presentations about the upcoming research on board, planned ice work, discussed the best way to carry out the fishing project, + much more. We also had fun with an Arctic quiz in the evening, which the researcher Flor Vermassen so nicely organized. Thanks to countless phone calls and text exchanges with brothers and sisters in quarantine and with the family at home, the days have rushed.
I have been planning this expedition, Synoptic Arctic Survey, ever since the first day in August 2019 when I started at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. It was a huge disappointment in March last year when we had to decide to postpone SAS 2020. But, in retrospect, I realize that it also provided an exceptional opportunity to plan an even better expedition. Now I am looking forward to, together with all the fantastic people I got to know during this time, boarding Oden and depart for more northern latitudes to be a small part of a successful research expedition.
By: Maria Samuelsson