Polar explorers told how to survive through the isolation
Artyom Polikarpov, a specialist of the Department of Environmental Education and Tourism of the National Park, identifies three components of isolation. First, being in a cramped conditions in an isolated room (state inspectors live for two months in one small cabin) makes it necessary to find common language with the neighbors. Conflicts during the cruises are unacceptable, because it is impossible to leave the icebreaker in case of disputes. The life and health of the park visitors depend on competent and coordinated interaction. Secondly, active work should be observed, and walks on deck during the breaks. Thirdly, there must be a competent stock of products and basic necessities for the entire period of isolation on the icebreaker.
“Any physical activity helps and makes you feel better in isolation on ships. In our leisure time, my colleagues and I regularly visit the gym, where you can not only use fitness equipment, but also play football, volleyball and tennis. It is also allowed to visit the pool, although the pool is very peculiar: it is filled with water collected overboard and heated to the required temperature. Thus, everyone who swam in this pool can consider himself bathed in the Arctic Ocean and the Barents Sea”, said Artyom Polikarpov.
Daria Antufieva, specialist of the department of environmental education and tourism of the Russian Arctic national park, conducted two cruise voyages in the Arctic, after which she stayed until the end of the season at the Omega stationary spit base on the Alexandra Land island.
"For me, the most beautiful thing about the Arctic is the lack of communication with the outer world. So when I got to Omega, where you have Internet, I deliberately did not use it for another month, I rested. You can quickly wean yourself off chats and surfing the net, and start living in the real world. The only downside is worryies about your family and friends”, she said.
Provisioning and cooking is a separate theme in the Arctic expeditions.
“Everything that is really necessary for a complete diet of the polar explorers is in abundance. We did not have only the excesses we got used to on the mainland. We had was meat, vegetables, cereals, butter, fish. And we experimented all the time. Soups are always different, even the cheese soup was made once. We cooked casseroles, pasta in cream sauce, even the pancakes for breakfast. And when we were bored, we baked a cobbler pie or muffins”, added Daria Antufieva.
But State Inspector Dmitry Ryumin better than anyone knows about the complete isolation in the Arctic. Together with his colleague Denis Mennikov they spent the winter at the Omega field stationary base, performing daily tasks of patrolling the territory and maintaining life support of the polar station.
"It has happened that I spent two seasons in the Arctic in a row. The first summer season was at the Tikhaya Bay polar station, where I’ve worked and welcomed the tourists. It was quite easy: summer, polar day, a lot of people around. That season flew fast. The second season was at Alexandra's Earth, at the Omega stationary base. In winter the situation changes: it is always dark and live communication is minimized. I can honestly say it's an introvert's dream. I feel very good here, but I miss my family and relatives. And I also really want chips”, the polar explorer shared.
Dmitry Ryumin is now completing his shift in the Arctic and will soon return to the mainland.
According to the polar explorers, it is easy to spend the winter in the Arctic, if you set the mood for life, regulated by a strict daily routine, you must observe daily regime and follow local traditions: New Year on Omega is strictly celebrated, as well as the first sunrise in the end of February. Daily work and proper planning are ways to avoid depression.