Diary entryDiary entry
20070904 Border check on Croatian side went smooth.jpg
Smooth border crossing from Croatia
20070903d Petrol for the Fish Team - preparing for the night fishing in Ilok.jpg
Fish Team prepares the Piscius for night fishing in Ilok
20070903b Morning in Croatia at Aljmas.jpg
Dawn at Croatia's Ajmas Marsh
20070904 Morning on the Serbian side of the Danube in Backa Palanka.jpg
Dawn at Serbia's Backa Palanka
20070903c Dinner in the closeby fish restaurant in Backa Palanka.jpg
Enjoying Serbian delicacies Monday night
A new bridge in Novi Sad.jpg
New bridge in Novi Sad
Not the best weather for delivery of samples..jpg
Lousy weather for late night arrangement of samples for delivery
2007-09-04 Freezing in the rain.jpg
"I'm freezing in the rain, just freezing in the rain..."
2007-09-03 Serbian National Team from Novi Sad loaded  for the tributary survey.jpg
"Lada Express" for scientists and coolers
Location map

Better bordersBetter borders

Location: Downstream Novi Sad, Serbia
Monday September 3 proved to be a particularly successful day. While only two sampling sites were planned, the JDS2 ships completed three, thanks largely to smooth passage between Croatia and Serbia.

"It was a big change from six years ago during the first Joint Danube Survey in 2001," said JDS2 Technical Coordinator Jaroslav Slobodnik. "Crossing the border was very dramatic back then. It was also the first time since the war had ended that the Croatian and Serbian scientists had worked with each other. This time, it was very smooth and the Croatian and Serbian National Teams made travel over the border fast and efficient."

The saved time allowed the JDS2 to sample Station 43 (Downstream Drava at Erdut and Bogojevo), Station 44 (Dalj) and Station 45 (Ilok and Backa Palanka), with each station flanked by both the Croatian and Serbian borders.

On Monday night, the ships had to land with their noses on the shore on the Serbian Danube, as there were no pontoons or docks to tie up to. After some tricky steps to shore, the team once again dined at a local fish restaurant, Serbian-style.

Some members of the Serbian National Team had brought samples they had earlier collected from the Tisza River in Serbia, for analysis on the Argus. Later on, the same trio collected sets of new empty bottles for more Tisza sampling the next day. Leaving the JDS ships at 23:00, it was quite a sight to see the tiny Lada Niva car packed with three adults and 12 fairly large cooling boxes full of empty bottles headed toward Novi Sad. Three other members of the Serbian Team decided to use the "JDS2 hotel" for the night - two sleeping in the Szechenyi dining room, and one on the Argus with fellow Serbians.

On Tuesday September 4, the best experience occurred between Sampling Stations 46 (Upstream Novi Sad) and 47 (Downstream Novi Sad). In 2001, the experience of the JDS1 had been very, very different. Back then, three bombed bridges lay smashed to pieces in the Danube, blocking flow. "It was the most difficult place to pass back then," says Slobodnik. "The army had built a pontoon bridge over the river for troops and vehicles to cross. Many boats had to wait to pass, including JDS1. To allow passage, the army had to take pieces away from the pontoon bridge, and the ships had to pay high tolls to cross. This was now over. Six years later, it was easy to pass."

However, what started off as a nice sunny day turned out to be a hardship by the end of the day. For some members of the team, it was the most difficult day yet, having to label and remove samples from the boats to the car in the evening hounded by rain and cold.

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