So this is Iceland. And the name fits the weather, especially compared to the weather we had in Woods Hole just before leaving for this research cruise. It’s about 50F, very windy and scattered rain showers and rizzle. Not so unusual for an island in the middle of the northern part of the North Atlantic.
After a few ours of good sleep at the hotel, chief scientist Bill Johns (from the University of Miami . ) picked Heather and me up and drove us and our luggage the very short distance to the docks in one of the two main ports in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Our home for the next 28 days, the R/V (for research vessel) Knorr is tied up neatly among many other ships, including cargo vessels, cruise ships, naval vessels, and even another oceanographic research vessel from Germany. We’ve heard that the weather out at sea is extremely snotty due to high winds—so bad that the German research ship has delayed its departure for 2 days. I’m glad that we aren’t leaving for sea until Sunday!
As I predicted, the Knorr’s main lab is a mess of open cargo boxes, chairs , benches and odds and ends. A navigational nightmare for a cane user. But I’m just using the bump and adjust method and weaving my way through the “debris”, as one of my Scottish colleagues calls it.
This evening the ship’s crew and scientists were invited to a July 4th celebration sponsored by the U.S. Embassey here in Iceland, held at one of the art museums. American flags were hanging everywhere from the large function hall, and a singer with a lovely tenor voice sang the Icelandic and American national anthems. Free beer, wine and chili were served while we listened to a few speeches about the long friendship between the U.S. and Iceland. Turns out it’s the 70th anniversary of Iceland’s independence this year. Who knew!
I made my first trip to the galley, where all the meals are served and Heather showed me where yogurt and other snacks are stored. I was happy to see that hot water for tea is available from a simple spigot and lever—no need to pour from a hot kettle. I brought my little liquid level device that hangs on the side of a glass or mug and buzzes when the liquid is near the top. A handy low-tech device. I also learned that each scientist has his or her own coffee mug assignment – the mugs sit on a shelf and each one is numbered. I guess eventually I’ll have a number assigned, but I plan to put a rubber band on the handle of mine so I can distinguish it from the collection of 30+ mugs that are otherwise identical.