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Day nine: Take action! Take action!

Posted on 19 June 2008

Russian volunteers Ekaterina and Dmitry describe the Voyage for the Future's visit to the Polish research station in Hornsund, and take one last trip in the Zodiacs, dodging jagged floating sea ice and bearded seals.
Today we made it to the Polish Research station in Hornsund. It was created in 1957 and ever since it has much improved: the station itself is modernly equipped, consists of several laboratories and bedrooms for the scientists. After the lecture given by station scientist we had some hot tea with cakes in the next room.. And we also received a warm welcome from the dogs, that are living in the station and also do their job.

Over the last years a number of polar bears have visited the station on a regular basis, so we were warned against walking alone around the station. We didn't and anyway we were lucky to escape the unexpected guests. Instead, we've seen a polar bear in a far more safe distance later in the afternoon, from the ship.

In the afternoon we hoped on the Zodiacs to make it to the glacier ... for the last time on that trip. There was a lot of ice floating in the water, so we had to manoeuvre our way to the nearest glacier, stopping to look at the bearded seals (which are really cute, by the way).  

It seemed sometimes that our Zodiac-boat is about to burst because of the sharp ice.  But Zodiacs have many separate sections exactly for that reason, so even if we would get our boat pierced by the floating ice, we could still make it to the ship.

In the evening we had brainstorming with Russian journalist who was with us on the ship during the whole trip. We say "brainstorming" because, indeed, a mere interview transformed into vivid discussion, starting from our impressions in the Arctic and finishing on what we were going to say if Pan Gi Mun called us or we had a meeting with Dmitry Medvedev.

Tommorow is our last day on the ship and almost the end of the Voyage of the Future - on the whole. And our feelings are mixed: you don't feel like leaving this magnificent place but at the same time you can't wait to come back home and take action.

The song of the trip:
"Oooh, it's hot in here - there's too much carbon in the atmosphere (2 times)

Take action! Take action!

Playing with the huskies at the Polish research station at Hornsund, Svalbard
Russian Voyage for the Future volunteer Ekaterina Levitskaya.