Amazing time-lapse videos!

Malin Daase made two amazing time-lapse videos! The first one is of the fish crew sorting trawls. We hope you can gain a certain appreciation for identifying and sorting the different species we find in the pelagic trawls. There is something truly satisfying watching things get organized and tasks being achieved! Additionally in Kongsfjord, we caught a lot of Atlantic cod–which means we eat them (why waste good fish?) after a subsample of them are weighed and measured. You can watch how fast fish are filleted onboard–though to be fair to the student, you learn by doing!

The second video is an overview of the different nets that we used during the cruise (the MIK net and the MultiNet). We talked about these different nets and why we use them, but if you can’t remember, just take a look back at our previous posts.

Thanks to Malin for these videos, and we hope you like watching them as much as we do. Enjoy!

-Erin Kunisch (PhD candidate, UiT)

Vafler (Waffles) on board!

Waffles have a special place in Scandinavian culture. Compared to Belgian waffles, Norwegian waffles are thinner, and often heart-shaped. Waffles are usually served later in the day with coffee, brun ost (brown cheese, it is amazing!), raspberry jam, and cream.

Everyone onboard is indebted to the chef and the steward for providing delicious meals, along with valfer and sveler breaks (delicious Norwegian pancakes served midday). Thank you! Hjertelig takk!

-Erin Kunisch (PhD candidate, UiT)

Waffle break!


The Helmer Hanssen crew also enjoys vafler.


Who was Helmer Hanssen?

Helmer Hanssen. Photo from:

While cruising on a ship bearing his name, we thought it was appropriate to share a bit of background on Helmer Hanssen. Hanssen was born in 1870 in Norway to a farming and fishing family. At an early age, Hanssen worked with his father, hunting whales and seals, and fishing around the northern Norwegian coastline. When Hanssen was 27, he received his mate’s certificate, and soon participated in his first ocean expedition with the British to Novaya Zemlya (islands to the southeast of Svalbard).

Adventurous fate soon crossed his path, as Hanssen met Roald Amundsen while they were both in Sandefjord, Norway departing on their respective expeditions (Hanssen with the British to Novaya Zemlya, Amundsen with the Belgians to Antarctica). Six years later, in 1903, Hanssen accompanied Amundsen as his mate for a three-year expedition through the Northwest Passage on the s/s Gjøa. In 1910, Hanssen also participated in Amundsen’s ice plane expedition to the Antarctic, and the team reached the South Pole in December 1911.

In 1915, Hanssen received his skipper’s license. Because of his previous good work, Amundsen hired Hanssen to serve as captain on the s/s Maud through the Northeast Passage in 1918-20. Throughout Hanssen expeditions up to date, he had also gained experiences in dog sledding. His sledding expertise came in handy during this expedition, after the s/s Maud was stuck in the Arctic sea ice. Hanssen led the dogs on a 1500 km journey in order to send telegrams for Amundsen. The return journey to s/s Maud took Hanssen approximately 6½ month’s time, and 4000 km. Historians estimate that at the time, Hanssen’s trip was a dog sledding record.

Unfortunately, the Northeast Passage expedition proved to be difficult. Amundsen’s relationship with Hanssen had deteriorated, and Amundsen claimed that Hanssen became difficult to work with. As a result, Hanssen was dismissed from the middle of the expedition in Nome, Alaska, and had to work as a gold miner to earn the funds to travel back home to his wife and children.

Hanssen continued to engage in polar adventures and dog-sledding. In later years, he was offered to participate on another Antarctic expedition with Richard Byrd (an American polar adventurer), but turned it down. In later life, Hanssen received many distinctions and medals for his service in polar expeditions. Hanssen died in Tromsø, Norway in 1956.

Source: The Fram Museum

To learn more about Hanssen’s life, Nordland Fylkeskommune has a great summary (in Norwegian). The Fram Museum also has a great online collection of historical polar expeditions and explorers.

-Erin Kunisch (PhD candidate, UiT)