Herring Tagging Trip: day 1

Pancho did much better than expected on the plane from Bergen to Oslo! He got out of his crate and was so happy, and I was glad to not find puke in his crate. When we got to the Engebrethsen's house he had so much energy, and we finally got to bed around 11:30.

At 5:45 my alarm went off. Rigmor was dropping me off at the bus stop for the airport bus at 6:15. I landed at Tromsø a little before 10AM. There was light in the sky, but the clouds make it quite dark and gloomy. I was picked up by a girl working for the yachting company we are renting the sailboat from, and we drove about 25 minutes outside of Tromsø to an area called Kaldfjord. She and I waited by the dock for probably at least an hour while the fishermen brought some herring over to our nets for marking. And we spotted a lone killer whale. He hung around for a couple of minutes, and not long enough for me to get out my camera.

We are sleeping on a 50 foot sailboat for this tokt/excursion. It's tight, but quite neat to be in a different setting from the massive fishing boats. I unpacked my gear, put on my layers of union suits (is that what they're called? Total Dad term), and watched the process to be useful after lunch.

Up til now there have been four of them working as a team, the original plan was to have two teams of three. One person catches a fish in a net, then takes the net over the table where the next person holds onto the fish belly up, Jostein measures the fish and sets in a GPS tag, and then the fourth person releases the fish.

After lunch we went out to start working again. I had taken a motion sickness pill when I landed, and was feeling ok. When we got outside again it was 2:30PM, dark, windy, and snowing. I was given the task to load the tag into the tagging pistol to try to speed things along for them. We were probably only 20-30 minutes into working and I suddenly was not feeling myself.

I dreamed of a few weird things, and then woke up laying on the platform we were working from. I had passed out. The only thing I can think of that caused it is possibly not getting used to the motion of the water before it got dark and focusing on just the table we were working from. I went inside and laid down for a while. Right now I have a headache, but luckily the only thing that hurts to the touch is my nose. Adam (one of my co-workers) said that maybe I hit it when I fell down.

So that was a rough start. Three hours in and I'm already out of the game. I'm hoping that I can be of use tomorrow, but I will of course take precaution and if this headache doesn't go away will be asked to be taken to the hospital for a quick check.

I'm still hoping to work on this tokt. It is really different from our usual excursions, and I'm hoping to get to see more whales and a good northern lights show.

Hopefully I'll have a better update in a few days. Dramatic start! Internet isn't fantastic here either, so no pictures for this post :(


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