25 July. 100500 times and gas hydrates on the pie.

Sunrise. A new morning greeted us with a typical British weather; the sea sensed that coring is about to start and the boat began to roll.
Breakfast is ready. Porridge is waiting for us. The morning coffee helped us to wake up. Yes, and cold and windy weather removed the sleeping dreams from our minds. 
We transited to Kukuy area, deployed the first gravity corer, and started to count the stations. The corer came back onboard and our usual processing started. It was rainy, with freezing wind blowing but we had no time to get cold due to the hard work. A 5 meter long corer reached the Baikal bottom and came back full of sediment.
The area Kukuyskaya Griva is rather deep and while the corer is reaching the bottom of the lake, we have enough time to visit the heart and the head of our ship. The engine room shocked us with its the loud sound of the working engine, with the smell of gasoline, under the guidance of our kind chief engineer whose name is Viktor Ivanovich (in Russian marine language he is the “grandpa”). Despite the loud sound, “grandpa” explained us the functioning of the vessel’s engines.
The bridge of “our Vereshchagin” as the crew like to call her with love, impressed us with a big wooden steering wheel. It is easy to imagine such a steering wheel on a pirate boat.
The day was full of surprises. Our lovely cooks Olga Nikolaevna and Tatiana Anatolievna prepared a delicious special fish pie with the embossed Baikal name – this is a present for our expedition. In addition the pie also has a portion of dough that is gas hydrate-shaped, this is what we have been hunting during our expedition!! Since we are fed with large portions of food four times per day, ladies are satisfied with only half a dish and therefore all men are happy onboard: they always can have an extra portion.
….and the next 5 meters long corer sampled only 5 cm of sediment
…but we are not upset, and the weather reassures us with light wind that blows away all the clouds from the sky with shining sun. The mood improves and the work continues.
Nikita Gubin and Marina Solovieva gave a short course about our subbotom profiler to all geologists onboard.
The pole for the profiler was retrieved onboard as we started the transit to a new research area. When we sail fast there a risk to damage the instrument and this is why we retrieve it onboard. The profiler is the hero of the day completing the 100th profile of the Class@Baikal program. 
Our expedition is full of celebrations: we already celebrated the 100th temperature flow measurement in Lake Baikal and the 100th gravity core station during the two years of the Class@Baikal program. Today we also celebrate the 500th gas sample measurement collected in the gas vials during this expedition. That makes 1000 gas samples collected during the two years of program. All this in one day!
At dinner time we finished coring. The laboratories became quiet. Baikal pleased us with a beautiful sunset and two lectures from Anya and Gul’naz on deep sea depositional systems and gas hydrates respectively. 
This diary was written by Svetlana Bubnova and Vladimir Kirillov
Photos: Svetlana Bubnova