Kathrin, Thomas and I have arrived as the new AWIPEV station team in Ny-Alesund. While the German Research Minister Dr. J. Wanka was visiting the base, Kathrin and I had a short stay in Longyearbyen. Even before we went out of the airport hangar, we were already invited to a Barbecue by Sebastien Barrault, who is the scientific adviser at Kingsbay in Ny-Ålesund. He had made his way to Longyearbyen with his dog sled to participate in the “Trapper Trail”, the northernmost sled dog race in the world. The view out to the fjord was amazing! What a difference to the view we had in January! Only a pale glow had been visible over the city then whereas the surroundings were lying in darkness. Now in April the city is lit all day.
Slowly all members of the new team are being introduced to their new job by the experienced station team: Kathrin will take over the lead of the base in a few weeks and therefore gets mostly trained by Verena, while I is learning much about the observatory from Kerstin. Thomas Ribeaud, our new logistics engineer, arrived end of march and is already supporting Thomas Dupeyron. Kathrin and I were introduced as “new Verena” and “new Kerstin”. To avoid confusion, the new Thomas is simply called “Tomatoe” or “Thomas two”, what also perfectly works in plural if someone is calling both “Thomatoes” by radio.
Within the first week we had the possibility to go on a first trip by snow scooter and by boat. It will take some time until we will know the surroundings.
While we are settling in slowly (therefore the first bar night was used intensively, whereas others still have aching muscle from the inner bandy evening). 79th latitude is right now changing into polar day. For another four months the sun will stay above horizon 24 hours.