In a way, scientific cruises can be seen as a sort of confinement. The cruise I took part in lasted for 4 weeks in the Barents Sea. The life on the ship was organized in shifts. You work a lot, but lose track of time as during the Arctic summer you don’t have nights to punctuate your days. You sleep a bit or enjoy some free time. But during your free time, don’t expect to chat with your friends back home, there is no internet connection. It turned out to be the perfect time to read a good book. There is no way to escape from the ship for a walk: only ocean as far as the eye can see – you are stuck. So you’d better get along well with your cruise mates! For my part, I was very lucky. Even though I knew nobody when I embarked, the crew and the other scientists were incredibly nice to me. I loved the spirit of mutual supportiveness that is in fact vital in this kind of adventure. Everybody was looking after each other. And that is maybe the key to get through the storm.
Written by Caroline Jacques