by Matthew Shupe, CIRES/NOAA scientist and co-coordinator of MOSAiC
Another of those fantastic Arctic moments last night. A party. Antonia’s birthday was a great reason to have a party, and there always has to be some sort of party to mark the end, and our days are numbered now. So a party, on the working deck. Music. Benches and tables. A make-shift bar. Some decorations, some snacks. And the people. Our Leg 4 people. Scientists, crew, all together. Our work is mostly done and we will soon depart. So it is starting to feel a little interesting inside. Already starting to miss this place and we are not gone yet! And standing here on the working deck, feeling a bit sentimental, looking out from the side of the ship: A mixture of open water and small chunks of ice floating around as we all sit here embedded in the diminishing ice pack. It is misty and foggy. Variably. Kind of coming and going. Occasionally a little sun sneaking in, giving this crazy texture to the scene. And my favorite part, the ice sculptures. Many of the small ice floes around are mostly submerged, and thus blue ice, with only a couple of large, oddly shaped white blocks sitting on top. These looked like trays at a restaurant passing by to display the chef’s latest creation. I thought to myself that sometimes there are places that have large TV screens on the wall showing fantastic scenes from an exotic location. But here for us, this is not a screen; it’s this scene all around and we are sitting right in the middle of it during our farewell party. The scene itself was not too out of the ordinary for our recent experiences here, but with the emotion of the moment the feeling really set in for me that this would be one of those moments that I would always remember about the Arctic.