Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 49

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/cache.php on line 35

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/cache.php on line 400

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 553

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/classes.php on line 674

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505
Finnmark 2007 Diary » Blog Archive » Practice day in the field

Practice day in the field


Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/2/d178358563/htdocs/finnmark/diary/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 76

We start late after Tom hand-picks each dog-team for us: Dessislav Sabev, Euan Cameron, and Adam Munthe (myself). We grab every dog by the collar, starting with the lead dogs, slip on their harness, and run each dog to his or her place before the sled. The dogs run on their back legs so keen are they to get into the traces, and howling with excitement. Rune, the Motel owner’s son, and a dog musher too, leads us out. He knows the border areas, and we need him. First day in the field, and we take turns in falling off the sledges. Dr Dess, chief scientist is nonchalant, Euan our journalist and writer, is apologetic, and I try and avoid being noticed when I crash. Unimpressive, but the sleds are lighter, more fragile than we had imagined, and the dogs, if the truth be told, are faster, stronger for their small size. These light, tough little beasties also have more heart and guts than I’’ve seen in dogs before.

There’’s a wide lazy pink sky growing round us as we approach the border early afternoon – a thick pole driven into the snow painted yellow shows the Norwegian frontier, and a similar painted red and green with the Russian eagle shows the Rusky border, two yards off. If you cross this invisible line unwittingly it’s a 1,000 Euro fine; wittingly, and you go to jail. The sentries, in their pill-boxes on the horizon, are over to get you on snow-scooters or by helicopter in very few minutes. While we’’ve been out, Lars, the computer whiz-kid, has been struggling with the NASA temperature-gauging equipment. Apparently they’ve failed to issue us with the information to use these Thermatrons. For catching snowflakes the deal is simpler. Our GPS will give us Longitude and Latitude, our thermometer will give us temperature, and our lenses will give us an idea of the snowflakes we’re identifying, for the experts at NASA to determine direction, pollution, climate change significance. Now all we need is a snowfall! Supper early, our chef Øyvind makes us great Whale steaks, and we avoid discussion on fishing behaviour in the Arctic.

To bed with weary limbs, for an early start to the Barents Sea tomorrow. Tom Frode has bet me that we two won’t take a bath together to mark the real start of our expedition…

Leave a Reply