Russian sources were obtained and used by the navigation and research teams onboard. These included analyses completed in the form of ice charts, as well as visual, radar and thermal satellite imagery. The ship and crew were able to complete a rigourous science program with the input and guidance of an experienced ice navigator that provided further onboard analysis of information received from external sources combined with the assessment of actual conditions in the area of operation, weather forecasts and knowledge of ice dynamics. With the Ice Navigator’s recommendations plans were revised, sometimes daily, to take advantage of changing ice conditions or to avoid unproductive days where ice would have precluded effective sampling. More effective routing was selected and tactical manoeuvring completed safely under the guidance of the experienced Ice Navigator.
During this voyage, eighty-six observation stations were occupied, another one hundred observation stations occupied at and around the fixed point station, 67 expendable bathy-thermograph sensors launched, two hundred and fifty radiosondes deployed, five subsurface moorings were recovered and four deployed, and many miles of bathymetry recorded. RV Mirai cruised 4500 miles during the 42 day Arctic Cruise 2013. Without doubt, this has been a successful research cruise in which a vast array of valuable data has been collected and will be part of research and study over many years to come.
Thirty one researchers, technicians and I will depart the ship in Dutch Harbor on 07 October. The thirty four crew and the remaining research group will remain onboard for the transit to home port of Sekinhama Japan. But this is not the end. RV Mirai will return to the Arctic next year and the year after, continually adding to the many years of time series data collected since she first came to the Arctic in 2000, and to combine that with Arctic research voyages from other nations. Capt
David (Duke) Snider
Image: Cruise track – RV Mirai cruise MR13-06