by Matthew Shupe, CIRES/NOAA scientist and co-coordinator of MOSAiC

These moments are always noteworthy. Two ships passing in the night… The Akademik Tryoshnikov is now here. Red hull. Large, twin cranes on her cargo deck. Two helicopter pads. It’s a nice looking vessel.  And now our task is to conduct an orderly handover and exchange process. These interactions are an interesting time as there are two large vessels coming together, each with a captain and crew, each with unique characteristics and capabilities. But speaking different languages. So there is this process of getting to know each other….. kind of like when dogs sniff each other. Thus, after holding our distance, today it was time to do some of that “getting-to-know-you” process. Captain Wunderlich, Markus, and I flew over in a helicopter, landing on their large, rear heli pad, and were swiftly taken up to the captain’s lounge. Some snacks, some niceties, some drinks. It was a relaxed process really. Technical discussions about the timing and implementation of the maneuver, the bunkering and cargo shifting, handing of personnel, and so on. Overall agreement, and no major challenges. Even the language situation was not really a problem as the captain and officers of Tryoshnikov have a reasonable English vocabulary. Leaving the meeting, I have the feeling that our time on Tryoshnikov will go just fine. I’m sure there will be challenges with communication at times, but there seems to be a lot of good will and good attitude, which I guess goes a long way.

Marce Nickolas, Ice Team member of Leg 5, looks out at the Russian icebreaker Tryoshnikov as the Polarstern heads North to continue to MOSAiC mission. Bon voyage, Leg 4! Photo: Lianna Nixon/CIRES and CU Boulder

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