1994 Arctic Ocean Section
States--commenced a historic polar gathering. More than 550 men, women
The Russian nuclear-
and children met near the North Pole on the ice. The Yamal 's officers and crew
Yamal, Louis S. St-
hosted a barbecue on the ice, and the three ships were open for tours. This
Laurent and Polar
Sea at an unplanned
unprecedented and impromptu rendezvous near the North Pole in many ways
symbolized a new era of international cooperation in the Arctic Ocean.
the North Pole.
That evening all three ships sailed southward together toward Svalbard and
made good progress, reaching south of 86N by Thursday morning the 25th.
At that point the ice conditions had improved, and we parted company with
the Yamal to resume our scientific work, consonant with expeditiously exiting
the Polar Basin. The pattern of southerly progress in somewhat lighter ice
continued, and we occupied several high-quality science stations in the Eura-
sia Basin. On the 27th we had an airdrop of helicopter parts. The same day we
received word from the U.S. Department of State that we were not permitted
to continue the work southward within 200 nautical miles of Svalbard. We
therefore terminated our in-ice section with a station at 8351′N, 3541′E.
On Tuesday the 30th of August we exited the ice northwest of Svalbard, mak-
ing course for Iceland. On the 31st we stopped the St-Laurent for a contami-
nant and oceanographic station in the Greenland Sea at 75N, 6W. This
proved to provide an excellent end point for the Arctic Ocean Section, since it
showed the prominent role of the Arctic Ocean outflow in changing the convec-
tive region of the Greenland Sea in recent years to a warmer and more saline
The Polar Sea disembarked most of its scientific party in Keflavik, Iceland,
on the 3rd of September and then proceeded to Nova Scotia in company with
the St-Laurent, the ships being slowed enroute by a storm with winds exceed-
ing 60 knots. The St-Laurent disembarked its scientific party in Dartmouth
on the 9th of September, bringing to a close a remarkable and productive