Wednesday, 2 January
Today is the second day of the year, it is cloudy and the sun isn’t shining. It’s really a grey day... But I don’t mind!! Because I’m on one of the best scientific ships, the Polarstern, making my dream reality.
This is my first cruise... and for me everything is new and exciting. I meet people from different countries, discover the German customs, get used to life on the ship, and of course learn all I can about my work!!
On board I’m working with the AgassizTrawl (AGT), a spectacular gear that provides samples for people that work with several groups of animals, from sponges to fishes. My interest: Cnidarians! Although I’m specializing in a benthic genus called Thouarella, on board I’m responsible for collecting all of them. The process to catch them is fascinating, first of all when the AGT is on deck... it looks like chaos! Lots of mud, buckets everywhere, people around... but step by step we find a way to work as well as possible.
Especially on the last station (the third on this cruise) everybody knew what to do, and it was fantastic, a great job. I enjoyed it very much because you’re part of a team where people work to achieve the same aims, and this produced in me an indescribable feeling.
Later, when deck and the gear are cleaned, you can only think of the content of the buckets: What kind of animals will be there? How many cnidarians? Now it’s time to classify, to take pictures and to fix samples. There are still some hours of work ahead. Take your coffee and keep on working!!
When you finish at 4 o’clock in the morning, you need to relax. It’s time to go outside, breathe pure Antarctic air, feel the breeze in your face and look around... you’re in the most beautiful place in the world.
So the new year will bring a lot of new experiences, starting with this adventure. The opportunity to stay here on the ship and introduce myself in the world of science— although I’m only a student that has just started the PhD work — is a real pleasure. So now an important change is happening, I’m at the beginning of my new life.
Rebeca Zapata Guardiola, University of Seville.
Photos: R. Zapata
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Friday, 04 January 2008 01:15
Polarstern: New year, new lifeWritten by Polarstern Expedition
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