Preparations for Leg 2

I arrived in Tromsø on 23 November 2019 at two o’clock in the afternoon. It was dawn at that time and that was when I realized that I will not see the sun anymore for the next 3 months. I still need to get used to this thought.

On November 27, I left Tromsø together with around 70 other participants on the Russian ice breaker Kapitan Dranitsyn to go on Leg 2 of the MOSAiC Expedition. Our trip into the Arctic Ice will take around 15 days.

The last few days we all had many things to do in order to prepare ourselves for the trip. Sunday was the day for fitting the polar clothing for working outside. That includes boots, jackets, thermal underwear, a floating monosuit and many other useful clothes to deal with the cold.

Monday and Tuesday were two intense days with mandatory safety briefing courses. We practiced how to use the emergency and communication equipment on the ice and had to learn how to swim in the water with the rescue suit on. For that I had to jump into the really cold water in Tromsø. I can only guess how cold it would feel when I had to do this in the Arctic sea!

Today I learned how to use the air supply system to escape a helicopter under the water. For this course we will even get a certificate. This is only one of many certificates I acquired during the past few weeks in order to prepare myself for the expedition. Another one says that I know how to handle a rifle in order to protect myself from polar bears, or that I passed the basic safety training for seafarers, and that my health is in a good condition.

Besides the fact that we learn how to deal with extreme situations and possible emergencies during the expedition, these days also served to get to know the other participants. These are the people I will spend the next three months with! How exciting is that?!


Ivo Beck, from Tromsø.