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

Sometimes goodbyes are hard. Like this morning. Two ships together, then the lines are reeled in. Subtle movements and a slow parting. The railings of both vessels crowded with people, initially just a few feet apart. Waving. Photos.  Crying. Further movement as Polarstern starts to move forward very slowly, but with power. A long horn sounds from Polarstern. A long answer from Tryoshnikov. Then a short response from each. That little ritual marked the end of this engagement as Polarstern kept moving forward. Many faces passed by, most not familiar, or at least not recently familiar. But there are a few who remain onboard Polarstern from Leg 4 to carry the expedition forward to its final stanza. And it is those faces I want to find. They are the direction of my waves. We’ve made great friends on this melt season journey, and those that stay behind are some of my closest MOSAiC friends. They are the ones that make the goodbyes hard. But it is also great to know that MOSAiC will be in good hands going forward. Alli, Verena, Melinda. Three great friends, all great leaders, all have made a huge contribution to MOSAiC, and all have made this time in the Arctic enjoyable. Farewell as you continue the journey.

Russian research icebreaker Akademik Tryoshnikov and Polarstern meet in the Arctic Ocean to exchange personnel, cargo and fuel before separating again, taking the previous leg members home.  Photo: Steffen Graupner

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