While I was shooting the sharks, they almost made me lunch: Kiev told about the everyday life of a scientific expedition…

Пока я снимал акул, они чуть не пообедали мной: киевлянин рассказал о буднях научной экспедиции...

Kiev Vadim Ivlev became the only Ukrainian in the international expedition of 14 people who visited one of the most remote corners of the Earth. Ducie Atoll located close to point Nemo — the most remote from land places in the Pacific. Next — “a cemetery of spaceships”, that is, the waters of which direct the exhaust on age of the orbiters. There is, for example, drowned Dogaressa in the atmosphere fragments of the Mir station.

The “FACTS” met with Vadim Ivlev immediately after his return to Ukraine.

The island of Acadia, where you landed, inhabited?

— People do not live there, but birds, thousands of! — meets Vadim Ivlev. — Because of this I began to call this island Planet of birds. We needed space to accommodate the two camps, but to find them was not easy — we are everywhere faced Chicks of petrels. They invite parents so that the air is continuously sounded the cry of the demanding Chicks.

In the first hours of stay at Acadia I was irritated, but I soon got used to it and began to enjoy the bird’s hubbub — it’s the sounds of nature. It was a feeling that he was in bird heaven on earth.

Immediately after arriving on the island in our tent flew white with a pearl shimmer bird. This is some even a little scared. I easily caught the unexpected visitor, she showed no fear, and carried from the tent. Then a whole day in the tent the smell was distinctly fish — bird eat it. Interestingly, this smell did not seem pushy or abrupt, on the contrary, he was very pleasant, as if came from the delicate expensive perfume.

Пока я снимал акул, они чуть не пообедали мной: киевлянин рассказал о буднях научной экспедиции...

*Vadim Ivlev: “the island has no fresh water sources, however, the plants there to survive”

— Landing on the island was successful?

Yes, but you need to understand that even in good weather, landing on the Atoll Ducie is complicated and dangerous. After all, he is in the ring reefs sticking out of water. To break on them easier. Helped that sailors from the ship that brought us to Ducie, I know the passages in the reefs. They brought us through the barrier on a motorized rubber boats.

Then came the transfer from the ship of the expedition cargo in sealed boxes and bales of tents, equipment and other supplies. Fourteen members of the expedition, along with three crew members lined up from the reef to the shore of Acadia island (Ducie Atoll consists of four Islands, Acadia is the largest of them). The sailors hauled on the boat journey, and were unloaded on the reef. We would catch up and passing each other along the chain, transported to shore.

By the way, among the forwarding load was heavy bags with steel stakes. Even I, a person trained (I run marathons), we did not intend to raise such a bag. Impressed that the members of the ship’s crew — handsome, sturdy new Zealand dragged these bales alone!

On the second night of the expedition on the island I must admit I thought from overwork, I started hallucinating: it was, lighting the way lantern, suddenly caught myself on thought, that plots of coral reef that were used the beam, I saw transparent, — said Vadim Ivlev. — While during the day, in sunlight, I clearly saw that the reef — solid like thick glass — dark gray. That’s who he should be, because the surface of the island is of dead corals. By the way, they are akin to sandpaper. Because of this, during the 13 days stay on the island from members of the expedition almost completely deteriorated the soles of sneakers. I was in rubber flip-flops with thick soles, has become almost the only one whose shoes survived. It is significant that when we walk on the surface of the coral, heard such sounds as if go on the glass.

— Managed to understand why the corals seemed to be in the dark translucent?

— No, but I think it’s an optical illusion. Here it is necessary to say that the first two days we really worked hard: unloaded under extreme conditions of hundreds of boxes, bales, trunk forwarding cargo, crashed on the island two camps, assembled and put to work a large variety of equipment. All this time, almost no rest, so I assumed it was from fatigue. However, the next evening, when he went from one expedition camp to another along with the co-founder of our expedition, 77-year-old American named Leslie, coral surface of the island again seemed to me to be transparent. We lit the way with lanterns. I gently asked: “Forest, don’t you think that corals under the feet of some strange”. “So they are translucent — it looks like glass,” said my older friend.

Пока я снимал акул, они чуть не пообедали мной: киевлянин рассказал о буднях научной экспедиции...

On the Islands a huge number of birds, and they are not afraid of people

— Acadia is plants?

Trees on the island there. But there are two species of shrubs, reaching a height of one and a half or even two metres. Their branches look strong but in reality fragile — can be easily broken with one hand. Sources of fresh water on Acadia absent. Native plants are content to receive with the precipitation.

— Why your expedition climbed up on a remote island in the Pacific?

It was the expedition. Our main task was to carry out communications with radio Amateurs around the world. However, the range of tasks that were not limited to, for example, I made time to collect samples of plants and soil.

All four Islands composing the Atoll of Ducie, very low. Even on the largest of them, the Acadian, the highest parts of the tower by only three meters. Therefore, in a heavy storm they may be completely flooded by the waves. Inside the Atoll is a large lagoon, which is full of sharks. I made dozens of images depicting rising above the water, the fins of these dangerous predators.

So, to swim you could not?

— Why? I have several times with pleasure to swim in the lagoon — found places where there were no sharks. Truly dangerous the situation was worried when I went alone to the neighbouring island Edwards for samples of plants and soil. Then, fascinated by the movies, I almost became dinner for the sharks.

Left camp early in the morning with the expectation that, taking advantage of the low tide to cross the sand between Acadia and Edwards. The water had receded, left except puddles. The time was expensive, so a quick step moved by formed isthmus (its length is about 800 meters). Gathering at the Edwards specimens, began to look to another island, where, according to my calculations, it was possible to Wade across. Fortunately, he realized that to do so is not: there was quite a strong current and sharks. Near one of the shores I saw a four fin, while the opposite eight. Took out the camera and started shooting frolic Cougar on video. I feel so strongly about that time for me seemed to have stopped. Therefore, it is not immediately noticed that the tide has already begun. There he recalls the rapid flood. I ran like hell back across the isthmus. The water rose to me knees, when the shore was still about 500 meters. She continued to arrive, a little more and in the isthmus had to go sharks. I confess I was not myself at the thought. I was even more accelerated, straining every nerve. The situation was aggravated by the fact that it was supposed to stemnet — in those latitudes night falls at six o’clock. Sailors from the ship said that the biggest danger of a shark attack comes just after sunset — at that time they begin to feed. The water has already risen up to my chest, had to carry the backpack on a raised over the head hands. Although I was in a hurry, do not forget to look carefully at the sides — controlled if there was a threat nearby fins. Finally safely got to shore and breathed a sigh of relief.

After returning to Kiev handed over the collected samples to the specialists of the National scientific Antarctic center of Ukraine for research in the field of climate change.

Пока я снимал акул, они чуть не пообедали мной: киевлянин рассказал о буднях научной экспедиции...

*We have installed antennas 19 and with their help contacted the hams of the entire planet

— Communicated with radio Amateurs from Ukraine?

— Yes, many. For obvious reasons, I tried to get in touch with the largest possible number of Ukrainian radio Amateurs. The members of the expedition treat this with understanding. In total we were able to contact 27 thousands of radio stations from virtually all corners of the Earth.

We installed the 19 antennas. One of them was made for my project in Germany. At Acadia we delivered unassembled. I planned that the antenna will protrude from the ground at 26 meters (approximately 10 storey building). But when we landed on the island, was blowing a pretty strong wind, so we decided to do a shortened version of the antenna is a 18 — meter. We understand that if you happen to already very strong storm or a hurricane, will have to urgently evacuate. So the first week was spent for radios for 12 hours a day or more. I even for a dinner did not go — it was impossible to waste time, because bad weather could “kick” us off the island any day.

What I ate on the island?

— The food was more than simple. She answered the crew. Breakfast cooked cereal with skim milk, which had neither taste nor smell. For lunch, usually gave the pancakes. But a couple times we were treated to a barbecue. The dinner always offered a completely unappetizing sausages. Only sailors from the ship ate them with pleasure, put a full plate. For these hardened difficult working conditions of the people such food is familiar. Of fruits they took the sail a hefty supply of bananas. However, the food I wasn’t upset, I was completely absorbed in his work.

The water we drank from the desalination plant. Sailors poured it in plastic bins and threw some colored chemical powder — apparently to give the taste. At first the water was orange. Its flavor quickly all become boring, and the sailors began to throw into the tanks purple “chemistry”. She gave the water such an annoying and disgusting smell that I even had to throw the flask into which it is poured.

— What was the weather like?

— At first suffered from the heat, and at the end of the expedition froze, as the rains started and very cold. When, during an emergency evacuation had to go into the water, my teeth were chattering.

— So, the expedition worked on the Atoll, not the entire scheduled time?

Yes. A strong wind forced to urgently evacuate for a day and a half before the scheduled departure date. Although weather conditions were forced to meet without delay, we were taken off the island literally everything that came in after us and left not a gram of waste.

— Then somewhere else visited?

— Yes, on several Islands, including the Pitcairn Islands, where live the descendants of the rebellious in 1789 the crew of the English ship “bounty.” This story is known for numerous film adaptation of the book “revolt on the “bounty” and movies made by Hollywood. The story is briefly as follows: the crew of the “bounty” landed its cruel captain Bligh and remained faithful to him in the boat and left them in the open sea. In the middle of the Pacific ocean the rebels and followed them several Polynesian men and women came to the island of Pitcairn, where they settled, and the ship burned. Meanwhile captain Bligh got to Indonesia and announced to the British authorities about the incident. In search of the conspirators sent a military ship “Pandora”. According to the laws of the time, the rebels should be hanged from the yardarm. However, to find them failed. Only 30 years later one American whaling ship discovered the island, which the locals spoke English, in their settlement, Americans saw the Bible. It was the island of Pitcairn. As it became known, the rebel leader with bounty Fletcher Christian, hiding in a cave, located on the mountain, was killed because of fighting, like all the other men except one. I have two members of our expedition (one 67 years old, the other — ‘ 72) went up to the cave. For me this climb was quite heavy. But my senior colleagues have demonstrated that the health and strength they have God forbid — so fast going uphill that at all desire not to lag behind them I couldn’t keep up.

It should be added that in the search for the rebel ship “Pandora” found a previously unknown Atoll. The captain gave the Atoll the name of Ducie in honor of his patron, official of the Admiralty Francis Ducie. Here on the Atoll and worked our expedition.

Photo courtesy of Vadim Ivlev

. The recording was made at the time of measurement of movements on the planet.

And the American geophysical Union has published a video where you can hear “singing” melting glaciers on the continental shelf of the Ross

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