Monday 7 May 2018

Here we go!

After arriving in Murmansk on Thursday evening we have busied ourselves with the usual supply purchase and logistics planning. On Sunday morning we packed everything into the vans and set off for Varzuga village. The travel was smooth and the last section of dirt road was remarkably well kept meaning arrival into the village around 7.30pm.

Arrival into Lower Camp
We got all the supplies and luggage into the lodge and found a delicious soup and pasta dish waiting for us care of Sousha. Millie (Middle Camp cook) and Ceri (Lower Camp cook) set to work to get the cold supplies into the fridge and after everything was in it’s place we sat down to a civilised supper. Someone even managed to find a bottle of red wine.

Division of supplies
Now to the most pressing matter. The river. It’s certainly a lot thinner and there is far more open water than this time last year. We arrived and were a little down cast but a light rain had began and the forecast is for nights to remain above freezing. Even as Bill and I made our inspection there were small rafts of ice coming down stream from above and this was the tell tale last year that things are starting to move. Unlike last year they are breaking up and carrying on down stream. Last year the chunks were busily freezing up against the blockage. It would make everything complete if we woke up to a broken river tomorrow.

First night inspection
For now we have bluebird skies and warm sun to transfer snow melt into the river, then under the ice and then to carry it away. The change from last night is highly encouraging with a nice blue channel opening down the true left bank. Everyone is jolly and refreshed this morning and as ever we have a focused and driven team helping us both Russian and British.

Bluebird Sky this morning
More camp detail tomorrow as people and the tundra starts to wake up.

Jack Selby (Operations Manager)