Now On Yandex.Maps can be considered the northernmost territory of Russia - an archipelago of Franz Josef Land. For example, gigantic glaciers
or picturesque Mountain
And my name is Olga Parshin, and I'm an expert on shooting spherical panoramas of neq4
, partner Yandex. In August 2013 I was a part of a scientific expedition in 42 days made a panorama 11 islands in the archipelago. In this post I want to tell you about what looks like a summer Arctic.
In the expedition to Franz Josef Land, I was among the few who are not moved scientific interest and a desire to visit the far north of Russia. Other participants were the US National Geographic Society, the park "Russian Arctic" and the Russian Geographical Society. Each of them - an expert in his field: some have studied microbes other was headed walruses, and others responsible for archeology and geology. Purely scientific society is not the first time indulges in the Arctic, this time under the "Virgin of the sea."
July 26, 2013 « Polaris
» - our cruise ship built specifically for navigation in Arctic waters - was released from Murmansk and headed for the nearest island of the archipelago, Alexandra.
The route of the expedition included several key points at which necessarily had to conduct research, but everything was resolved on the spot - depending on the weather. Sometimes, when we came to the island, but could not land because of squalls, so we had to go further.
During the expedition, we lived on the ship. Woke up at eight, lunch, and then divided into groups and went to the ground. Finish work, usually for dinner, other groups were returning late in the evening.
The island Hayes is the northernmost branch of the Russian Post. Live near three meteorologists. And it's almost the entire population of the archipelago, except for the polar bears and the only military unit employees' Nagurskaya "on the island of Alexandra Land.
At Hooker Island in the Bay area were quiet before the first Soviet research station and the first Arctic Observatory under the direction of the famous Arctic explorer Ivan Papanina. Now the island is only an empty house. Some of them almost a hundred years.
The island Gowan our geomorphologists found parked polar explorer Irwin Baldwin, who stormed the archipelago in the early XX century. Although previously it was thought that his expedition had never visited this island. However, only managed to shoot another of his lot - on the island of Alger.
Animal bones - a mandatory part of the landscape of the archipelago. They are everywhere. That is, for example, the skeleton of a polar bear.
Polar bears - the largest predators of Franz Josef Land. Having no enemies in their natural habitat, they are almost afraid of nothing and try to poke around his curious nose. To protect from attacks each group was always accompanied by armed guards. And although the bears we almost never met, experienced researchers liked to repeat: "If you do not see a polar bear, it does not mean that it is not."
The second largest inhabitants of the archipelago - walruses - unfortunately, have not been put on the pan. This is an extremely shy animals, ready to rush to their heels all the rookery at the slightest rustle. Monopoly on their study went zoology, and they are extremely reluctant to meet any attempt to make at least a few shots, not to mention the fact to allow me to get the equipment and stand with him in full growth.
Franz Josef Land, its landscapes scenery reminds foreign planets - everywhere from the land sticking columnar basalts, and towering mountains all around with huge ice caps.
Here and there are small streams flowing - it's glaciers are melting in the warm season. By the way, the summer in the archipelago takes nothing at all - a month, maybe two.
The first pictures of the panoramas were made in the beginning of August - they can still see the green grass. When we returned back to the same places almost nothing - flowers and mosses rather quickly fade. Then tighten all the ice and begins a long winter.
Arctic weather is often called the kitchen. Understand it, only once there. For some five minutes the wind direction changes dramatically, whence come the low clouds that fly with incredible speed, and begins to snow. But most of the time we were lucky with the weather - the sun was shining and the temperature was in the range from zero to five degrees Celsius.
Total expedition lasted 42 days. 42 days without contact with the outside world, and in terms of nature is so wild that the human presence in it seemed abnormal. It was the long expedition to Franz Josef Land from the time of discovery.
At the end we still caught in a storm, which lasted all of three days of our way to Murmansk. The storm was so strong that the appliances and utensils are not kept on the table, swinging pictures on the walls, and equipment constantly strives to tip over. Rare brave, choose the deck, could watch the giant waves. But the weather in the Arctic - ordinariness, and "Polaris" and not come out unscathed from such troubles.
Altogether during the expedition I was able to shoot on 11 islands. The preparation of the material took 60 days and 4,500 staff. The result was 255 panoramas. Now you can take a virtual tour, where people are rarely seen harsh island and visit the abandoned buildings, whose walls still remember the beginning of the last century.