There are no days off during the expedition time, and everyone has become accustomed to it. The ice can melt away if we will not do everything at our full capacity. The work is in full swing! The rope is being marked on winches, new strings are being assembled and old ones repaired near the mainas, the bottom cable is being run under the ice, the equipment is being tested at the shore station before its submerging into the water.

Our team is harmonious, well-coordinated and very friendly. All the “Baikalians” are flexible multifield experts and everybody does everything: hitting the ice, bearing heavy loads, mounting detectors. Almost everyone is worth being a documentary film protagonist. They are real enthusiasts. Some of them have been working here for 40 years.

Several young people arrived from Irkutsk for a couple of days, boys and girls, students and early-career academics. They joined quickly in and became at once a part of our team. 

Earlier, there were no girls among Baikal expedition members, just virtually no ones. Now there are four of them (to tell the truth, only till Monday). Surely, they have changed our ice camp life.

First of all, some of the guys suddenly displayed great rhetoric skills and started to explain to the girls in a flowery way (this is true) and for a long time (and this is also absolutely true) the local arrangements and their purpose on a global scale. It made the rest of us, not so high-flown and ingenious speakers, work harder and more. After a while, everyone went back to work, the girls also got their tasks and finally we managed to catch up our schedule.

Secondly, we have more fun with them. They find new ways of applying ordinary things with standard functions. 

What is more, the guys are extremely creative too. For instance, they brew up some tea from cables.

It could seem that we have gone insane, but this procedure is quite reasonable. All modules and cables are joined through special underwater connectors that allow connection even in water. The connectors freeze in the cold air and it is difficult to insert them into one another. The joining goes smoother if one of the connectors is heated up. For this reason, they are heated up to the 60 degrees Celsius in the kettles like this one.

We spend a lot of time handling the central modules. There are six cables from the bottom optical modules, other six from the upper ones, two from acoustic modules and the main 9-pin cable. God forbid if we mix up anything! That is why we always perform a blind test. One of us tells the cable name and the other one looks up in the register and says aloud where this cable should be connected to. If the register entry matches the reality, we continue our test.


During our drive to lunch we do not listen to Tsoy’s songs any more.

There was a lot to do. Almost without breaks. By the end of the day, we have the following status.

On the third cluster, on the fourth string, we finally reached the defect unit and brought it to the shore. It will be checked and repaired there.

On the new fourth cluster, the construction is going ahead.

• Bair has posed for our team the goal to assemble one string a day. We did our best even faster and better-coordinated, it felt as if we were a Formula-1-pit-stop team. Apparently, not to the full extent. We just mounted two sections of three, the bottom and the middle one.
• On the first string, we assembled and tested the string module.
• We marked the wire cable.
• We tied floats that pull the wire cable up.
• More than 350 optical modules were tested.

The running of the bottom cable is still being prepared. “Measure three times before you cut once”. A little bit later we will check everything once more.