Showing posts from September, 2016

A weekend in Iceland

This past weekend we revisited Iceland three years after my first visit. This time the reason was to visit Katrine who has been studying there this month.

I really enjoy the relaxed vibe of Reykjavik. No one is in a hurry, and it's very quiet considering it is the largest city in Iceland.

We got in very late on Friday night - rented a car and drove it to our AirBnB. We finally got to bed at 2:30AM local time (4:30AM Norwegian time), and had 6 hours to sleep before we were expected to be at Katrine's place for breakfast. When our alarms went off we threw on our hiking clothes and packed our bags for our daytrip. We were greeted with a great breakfast (including Skyr!! - Icelandic style yoghurt - my favorite).

Saturday's itinerary was the Golden Circle. Without stopping it takes a little over three hours to drive the route. We started around 10 and got back by 6-ish. The highlights of the drive are Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir.
Þingvellir(or Thingvellir) - "The Parli…

Stoltzen Opp - 5 years later Race Report

A last minute decision to run the Bergen famous Stoltzekleiven Opp...

An email was sent around to the Institute asking if anyone else wanted to join Team Fisken ("the Fish") and run the Stoltzen Opp since they had some left over spaces available. I decided 'why not', and went for it. 
I did not properly prepare for the race, in my opinion. After a busy summer I crammed in training for the Fjord Viking and then was sent on a survey for two weeks in the Barents Sea. The best way I could think of training up for Stoltzen was doing some hard spinning for half an hour. I ended up doing three 10-minute intervals at least every other day.

I hopped on the bus Friday morning 50 minutes before race start not knowing who the guy I was supposed to get my bib from. I got off the bus and had to book it uphill to Fjellveien and then run to the start - I figured it was a nice 20 minute warm up. I was taking this race waaaayy too lightly since I had very low expectations of myself hav…

Update from the Barents Sea

With the 6-on-6-off shifts, it's hard to remember how many days have passed and which day of the week it is, but I think it was the day before yesterday when I finally got some sunshine and saw some whales and dolphins!
We have had cloudy skies the whole survey period except for this one day. Meanwhile, in Bergen, record high temperatures have been set all week as one last week of summer visited the city that also set records in July for the rainiest July on record.
This particular day we finally had some bits of sun. Mostly cloudy, however, I saw a chance to put on my winter coveralls and sit outside for a few minutes. I saw a few fin whales in the distance, likely feasting on krill. I only saw the plume of mist when they surfaced. On the opposite end of the boat a small pod of dolphins was getting closer. One got close enough that I thought the picture would turn out way better than it did. Still need to share. It was the best day at sea!
We only have five more sampling station…

Neat finds this time around

This survey is very different from the others I have been on...that being said, of the three surveys I have been on have all been the annual summer mackerel/ecosystem survey. We sample at different depths, which results in a few more species than the summer survey; as deep as 200 m below the surface. A vast majority of what we have gotten is young cod (less than a year old; we call them 0-group). We also get lots of jellyfish. 
This survey is also more exhausting. The stations are closer together, and if they see something interesting on the echosounder they set out the trawl. In our 6 hour shift we can get up to three hauls. It doesn't necessarily make the time go by faster when there's lots of sorting. Most of the hauls have only 4 or 5 different species and they are all around 3 inches long.
I still haven't seen a whale, but there is currently a rough-legged hawk (fjellvåk) hanging out on top of one of the masts likely dehydrated and a case of misdirection. Couldn'…

2 hours in Svalbard

Tuesday morning was an early start for the Diaz-Engebrethsen household. Marius had to catch a plane to Stavanger and then drive a little to a place called Lysebotn for work. Pancho and I took an early walk, and now that it's September the amount of daylight is decreasing significantly. We got back, grabbed my stuff, and caught the bus to the train station.

We took the train to Oslo from Bergen - a trip lasting around 7 hours. Pancho is a master of train travel. He gets excited to see other dogs, and there was a female around his age just in front of us, but eventually he gave up with trying to say hi and took a nap. I was really proud to see how relaxed he was on the train compared to the other dog who was obviously a bit stressed. We got off the train and Rigmor picked us up. While I'm gone our friends Morten and Katrine are taking care of Pancho.

That night (Tuesday night), I found out that a passport is needed to fly to Svalbard. I was totally unaware of this and was in to…

You can call me Fjord Viking

Today I revisited the race which was my first half marathon. One of the races that started it all. I was there for two things: get a new PR on the course and become a Fjord Viking.

Marius dropped me off and we took a quick look at the sports expo (not super impressive), and then I rushed outside to start warming up. We were really lucky with blue sky and warm temps...well sorta lucky. I really don't like running in the heat because I need more water. More water stops = slower finish.

Marius cheered me on at the start and then had to go because he has a soccer game today too. Between the 4th and 5th kilometer, I saw Marius' car driving towards me with the sunroof open and he was holding a little American flag out of the roof of his car. I got a good kick of adrenaline then, but then I was really starting to struggle.

Bigger races have more runners, which also usually means more people cheering. It's amazing how much cheering pumps you up when you're racing. So I was str…