21 July. Investigating the past we understand the present and forecast the future

The day started unusually quietly. Our research vessel “G. Yu. Vereshchagin” reached Listvyanka during the night. Since we were adjusted to the sound of the constantly working engines of the ship, now the silence makes us feel as deaf. And the absence of the boat swinging also makes us feel strange. After two weeks in the lake you begin to adjust to the unusual conditions. Everybody was enthusiast about our excursion to the Limnological museum, most participants of the second leg were happy to walk for several kilometers to the museum, and the thirst of new knowledge of participants of the third leg dominated on theirs fatigue from the flight.

Baikal museum impressed us with the Lake model collections, including interactive ones. There was a lot of information about the geological formation and estimated time of Baikal spreading. We also observed maps of seismic activity regions, endemic fish, crustaceans and others fauna.

Inside the museum there is also a small aquarium with several types of endemics fish and two exemplars of Baikal phoca. The seal named Musya amused us very much. You will understand why when you will look at the pictures. Our museum guide, Ol’ga Vasil’evna, told us that the Baikal phoca is not only the smallest seal in our planet, but also the one with the longest longevity, up to 60 years.

Inside the museum there is also a model of our vessel “G. Yu. Vereschagin”, we wanted to announce everyone that we are not only common visitors, but participants of the expedition Class@Baikal and that we only tonight returned from the cruise, and that we will leave again in a few hours. But, of course, nobody said a word, everyone hesitated.

On the way back to the port we met a fisherman and a diver over the promenade. We don’t know for how long they have been there and who are they waiting for. We shall answer this question during our next stop in Listvyanka.

The participants of the second leg shared with their impressions.

Jeffrey Poort

Since long time I was looking forward to be back on Baikal for the second year of Class@Baikal and I was fully rewarded with great impressions, good company and interesting science. First of all, it was with big pleasure to see back some faces from last year: Grisha, Sveta, Oleg, Korost, Olesya, Dina, Andrey and many more. At the same time, a bunch of young and enthusiastic students from Moscow were ready for their first training-trough-research, and they fully convinced me with their curiosity and engagement. We were working from early morning to late evening, penetrating the lake bottom, cutting the mud, shaking the bottles, and discussing science. But even with small eyes and cold and windy weather, the atmosphere was great and science was lifted to a higher level. Our big discoveries will be presented later during international conferences, but the other part of TTR, international training and friendship was already fulfilled on the ship. On the last day, the sun and heat were there to allow us to say close the second leg with a dive in the lake, a barbecue on the beach and fish catching experience. I got my second Class@Baikal certificate and I am proud of it, and it will not be my last one. See you next year, my dear friends!

Artur Kudaev

I am very impressed by the Class@Baikal expedition. I liked how serious research projects can be easily completed by scientists with the help of enthusiastic students ready to contribute to any task. During the expedition the conditions are unique to quickly develop the skills and the education of the students in a relatively short time. The family atmosphere, the feeling of being part of a team working together, and the will to make new discoveries are constantly present onboard. I am grateful to everybody, I am happy. I am looking forward to join the next cruise and make new discoveries.

Maria Topchiy

This was unforgettable, The second leg lasted only 6 day but it felt like as if it was a full moth or even more. So many impressions that I cannot express with worlds; wonderful crew and atmosphere and Baikal itself is just a miracle. I am anxiously waiting for the continuation of this adventure.

Ruslan Sakhibgareev

So this was the end of my visit in Baikal and we are now sitting in a cafe in Listvyanka. Emotions overflow in my mind, so I don’t know if I am able to transfer in words all my feelings. In such a short time many things happened. It would be impossible to tell you all my feelings about the whole cruise; therefore I will share with you only the last two days. First of all the end of the cruise was very special, first of all the cruise leg is over. The second important aspect is that now we can start resting. At the end of the cruise we organized a barbecue on the beach and we swam and admired the beauties of Lake Baikal. The atmosphere was perfect and everybody had a positive mind. By the end of the day we were tired but that was a pleasant tiredness because before we had only tiredness due to hard working days. We finally had a full sleep and today a packed my luggage and we went for a walk in Listvyanka. First of all we visited the museum of the Irkutsk Limnology Institute. That was the best museum I have ever visited. Many things happened, we were told about geology of Baikal and they showed us the endemic fauna and we had a virtual dive in the submersible. Everything was very well organized in the museum and I liked it very much. I would have liked to stay longer and I am jealous of the people that will be joining the next leg. This is just a small part of what I wanted to say but my soup is getting cold. I am already looking forward for Class@Baikal-2016.

Kirill Grigoriev

During this expedition I shared my time with geologists and geochemists. It was very interesting to see how the profiler data ultimately become real geological data and sediments in our hands. The work of my colleagues allowed me to witness the full cycle of “profiling-sampling-analizing”. This widened the knowledge of my work and how it can be used for practical purposes. I want to thank the organizers of the Floating University program for this opportunity to meet so nice people. That was cool, thank you.
Traditional group photography of the participants of Leg 2.

Those who just arrived are immediately involved in ship activities. Safety onboard is among the priorities for any expedition. The safety instruction is given by Andrey Khabuev.

Not only our friends who left the ship are saying good bye while we are heading to our new destination for Leg 3 of Class@Baikal-2015.

…also the local population of Baikalian water fauna suddenly appeared: the heads of swimming musk-rats showed up besides the ship.

They said good bye to us impatiently waiting for our return.

Svetlana Bubnova