By Karolina Ininbergs

Sunset at Norrbyskär

Sunset at Norrbyskär.

It was another beautiful morning in the Gulf of Bothnia as we left Härnösand. We stopped at another sampling site before meeting with a boat from Umeå Marine Research Station (UMF).  We were greeted by UMF scientist Dr. Johan Wikner and a television crew. We docked at Norrbyskär, a small island close to the station, and Jeff and I were interviewed about our research.

Dr. Wikner, associate professor at UMF and a specialist on bacterioplankton, introduced us to Dr. Hans Wolf-Watz, professor in applied molecular biology at Umeå University, as well as a resident of Norrbyskär. We were generously invited to dinner at a local inn and had a chance to try regional delicacies such as Arctic char and västerbotten (local cheese) pie. After dinner we invited Dr. Wikner, Dr. Wolf-Watz and their wives to have coffee and watch the sunset onboard Sorcerer II. We finished the evening with a guided tour of the beautiful island given by Mrs. Wolf-Watz.

The next morning we visited with Dr. Jarone Pinhassi, one of our collaborators from the University of Kalmar in the southern part of Sweden, who happened to be vacationing with his family. Dr. Wolf-Watz joined us as well and Dr. Wikner followed in the UMF boat, as we sailed towards our next sampling site just outside of the station.

After saying goodbyes to our UMF friends, we sailed over night to reach our next sampling site, the second most northern site on our transect through the Gulf of Bothnia. We arrived at the station at 6:00 AM in the morning and recorded the lowest salinity yet, only 2.9 psu at the surface and a temperature of only around 10º C.

A few hours later we arrived in Luleå, one of the major cities along the northern coast of Sweden and an important port for shipping iron from the mining industry in Kiruna. The day ended with a 4th of July American style BBQ!