Saturday, July 26, 2008

Norwegian cruise

Well, the 3rd week offered us something different! Our course contracted a small ship, the M/S Stockholm out of Gotenburg Sweden, for three days to take us to different places.

The first place, Alkhornet (above), had incredible cliffs full of nesting auks and guillemots.
(Click here to learn more about guillemots, and click here to hear their call!)

We measured nitrogen fixing by cyanobacteria in small chambers using acetylene gas as a proxy.

The next day we went to Sassen Valley (right) and did similar measurements, then cruised past a huge glacier (left) and saw a ringed seal, hauled out on a small iceberg.
(Click here to learn more about ringed seals.)

We also saw a great number of puffins.
(Click here to learn more about puffins, and click here to hear their call!)

The 3rd day we headed off to a abandoned Russian coal mining town, Pyramiden (below).
It's very strange to see the building still in good condition with belongings still in the rooms and dead plants hanging in the windows. It was abandoned in 1998, when the coal ran out, and most of the people were moved to Barentsburg.