There were 3 flights schedule for today (06:00, 09:30 and 17:30) but as the wind did not let on they were all cancelled. This would not only affect us (no pressure for us) but also the other Marine Night scientists, and most of our professors who had already lost their connections on Monday! That’s when Jørgen and Geir decided that the only way to get the scientists in Longyearbyen on time for their connecting flight was by helicopter. Hence, some people were prioritized and Sysselmannen’s Super Puma was on route to pick them up. There were 2 flights (11 and 12:45). Some of us were lucky enough to fly back with the helicopter at 12:45 and experience some truly magical views of Svalbard!
The remaining scientists and students arrived in the evening when winds calmed down a bit so the planes were able to fly, so by 19:00 all of the students in the course were safely back in Longyearbyen!
We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU (!!!) to all of our professors who worked night and day (or through one hell of a night – 312 hours!!!) to ensure that the Marine Night field campaign as well as the Advanced Underwater Robotics field worked were running smoothly, efficient and fun. Thus, enabling us to make the most of this opportunity and have a once in a lifetime experience in, truly one of the best and most magical places on the planet – Ny-Ålesund!
We would also like to thank Kings Bay for impeccable services and for the round the clock open cantina where we were able to sample some of the best food in Svalbard for sure! We had a wonderful stay with you and hope to get back soon!
After 10 days of isolation, sitting in a car on our way from the airport to Longyearbyen it seemed like heading towards a metropolis and fears of coping with 2100 people started to arise. It all went away when we starting seeing familiar faces at UNIS and in the city!
Now that we are safe and sound back and soon off again back to the mainland it all seems so far away and like something taken right out of a Spielberg movie, except it was real! We are certain that underwater robotics, magical northern lights, bioluminescence and somehow the ever popular Super Trouper and Dancing Queen will be stuck on our brains/haunt us for many years to come. Hopefully we will see each other again in the breathtaking and magical scenery of Ny-Ålesund, and its remarkable inhabitants!
Thank you for everything!
Text: Mari C., Ingvild A., Ida V., Adrian P., and Marthe S.