Greetings from Sweden!

After a slightly bumpy start, we’ve completed the first six days of quarantine as of this morning.

We knew beforehand that travelling in Covid times wouldn’t be easy, but we didn’t imagine having our documents checked for more than 30 min before getting our boarding passes. Fortunately, we had negative Covid tests, invitation letters, proof of employment and train tickets all ready and in the end made it through security five minutes before boarding and onto the plane safely.

Our luggage was not so lucky as we found out a little later in Copenhagen though....

So after filing a report at the airport, we went shopping in Malmö for the essentials, such as tooth brush and phone charger, for the first couple of days in hotel quarantine. We managed to get everything we needed and even had time to relax and enjoy a really nice meal with a couple drinks before checking into the hotel.

On Friday morning, our hotel quarantine officially started – 8 days in a room on our own in order to not carry Covid onboard IB Oden. But going to the Central Arctic Ocean seems worth the wait. To keep busy, we have a TV, internet, books and daily workouts to get the heart rate going. On Sunday we finally received our luggage as well, so have a few more personal items to make the room feel a bit more personal.

Our hotel room in Sweden - home for 8 days before our voyage begins.

Our daily food provisions.

The view from our hotel window.

Although we can’t meet the other participants we have daily zoom meetings and science talks. We also have a WhatsApp group and have been entertaining each other with conversations and quizzes.

Our meals for the next day arrive in a goodie bag outside our room in the afternoons; breakfast, lunch, dinner, some water and fruit. We can heat up the meals in our kitchenette microwave when we are hungry and the food is quite good and a nice change in our rather monotonous routine.   

The days are passing faster than we expected and with only two days to go we are getting excited to join the ship and meet the other 75 crew and participants. Fingers crossed we all have a 2nd negative Covid test result tomorrow. 

Birthe & Kim

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Jul 22, 2021 By jase