There is a sacred custom among the people living near Lake Baikal. Before going onto the ice, one should “burhan”: to soften up the spirit of the lake. You can “burhan” while making an offering - after having poured a few drops of alcohol, you should say the right words. Moreover, even the person who does not believe in any spirits should “burhan” too. If one does not do this, he will face a problem soon. That is the fact.

Actually, I knew about this common practice, but I forgot about it, and on the day of my arrival, I just sipped carelessly at my beer on my way to the lake. The requital was unavoidable. Today, in the morning, I was cleaning the “maina”: hammering the ice and shovelling it out – that means, was doing the job corresponding to my current professional competence. Usual site works were being performed around me. Suddenly, there was a bubbling sound. After a while, I was following with eyes my own iPhone disappearing in the depths of the lake. It had slipped out of my pocket. A tribute to the spirit of the lake.

Meanwhile, things are running along. Our team has been given a task to pull out the three modules with electronics and cables from the central string of the first cluster, nicknamed “Dubna”. To pull out and to bring to the shore station. There, quick-witted technicians will examine them. Bair Shaibonov has given us an easy to understand explanation.

Maksim Sorokovikov is sharing with us his life prospects. By the way, we still have not had a cup of coffee…

We want to keep Baikal clean. We do not litter. Make no noise, do not fool around. We repair our broken tools.

The string deployment starts with an anchor. The anchor must keep the string at one place, must not move or sink into the lake bottom. It must be quickly pulled out, if necessary. It is obvious, that we need a special anchor. It has been developed in the heart of the nuclear institute. Produced and delivered.

“And now we are going to tie the rails,” – not a circus performer has said this phrase, but a researcher from the Baikal neutrino telescope. I have recorded a simple easy-to-follow guide. A must-see piece! Highly recommended! Maybe, you will benefit from this knowledge once.

Now we are going to have a look at the anchor and all the preparation works on it.

The men from Baikal are so strong that they can play “Tetris” with rails!

This time we need to weight the anchor. Its optimal weight calculated by finite element method is 1065 kg. 1100 kg is also allowable.

The rails can fall out from the anchor if the bottom is uneven. That is why the rails should be “tied”. Follow this guideline. Drill holes into the scoop.

Insert a rod. Hold tight. The tie is almost ready.

Block up the edges.

Protect welding points against rust. Now it is really completed.


Have a nice journey!

Is the anchor ready? Then let us hook up the modules one after another. We will start with an acoustic module EvoLogics. This module enables detection of string location and that of optical modules on it.

The acoustic module is hooked up. Let us test it and down with it, into the water! These nice little balls – the optical modules - will follow it closely.

To be continued…