The feeling just before heading out into the field for a few weeks is chaos but also a great deal of anticipation. Especially the food supplies can be challenging. Eight people for two weeks means a lot of food that needs to be brought along and suited for everyone. This year our group has an addition to which all this is very new. Zhiji Ou, a PhD student from China arrives late Sunday night, and the following Monday morning we leave Tromsø heading north with Tanafjord and the Precambrian – Cambrian of the Digermul Peninsula as our goal. To Zhiji this entire trip may be confusing with lots of new things to take in, including different food, but he sorts things out and settles in.
The cars are packed with everything from dried food, chocolate bars, tents, sampling bags and a toilet seat. The drive from Tromsø to Lakselv, where we meet up with Magne and Guido, is long, but well worth the time.
Arriving at the harbor in Sjursjok and meeting with our local fishermen Trygve and Joakim is always good, it means a large part of the journey to the field site is done, everyone is in place and what remains to be done is get to the campsite and set camp for the night. There´s even time to fish for dinner making it easy to fall asleep in your tent.
Our targets for the coming two weeks are some of the earliest trace fossils of complex animals we can find and the evolution of ancient seafloor communities in the Early Cambrian, 540 million years ago. We also hope to find fossils of the first complex, visible animals, part of the even earlier Ediacaran fauna, on Digermulen they can be as old as 570 million years. Happy hunting!