Welcome to our PRINCE blog! Here it is! Our first blogpost of the MSM103 expedition. It took us a while to get things going here on the side and we have been on board for a while, so let me give you a brief summary of what happened so far:
Saturday the 11th of September we started our journey in Kiel, hopped on the bus to Emden, where we boarded the R/V Maria S. Merian and started unpacking, organizing the labs and getting to know each other in the evening over kicker and table tennis. The next few days on the river Ems and the North Sea were spent preparing and assembling our instruments as well as planning what was plannable at the time. When we left the English Channel behind, we were granted with the sight of dolphins and another day of a calm sea, before the Atlantic let us know, it was serious about being an ocean and sent us steep 3-4 m wind waves. Let me tell you, that a ten-day transit is quite a long time! A lot of us kept busy with instrument and software preparations, others (including me) by lying down or keeping a tight watch on the horizon. I think it is safe to say that we were all looking forward to arrive in the more sheltered Gulf of St Lawrence and start with some serious science. We saw land for the first time on the 21st of September, when we had to make a short stop in St John’s, which we all would have loved to explore a little. But the Maria is on a tight schedule and we continued our transit to Charlottetown, where we added three Marine Mammal Observers (MMO) to our party. With the coast barely in sight as a ghostly shadow on the horizon on our way, we arrived at the port around midday on the 23rd and left the same afternoon. And now, finally, after two weeks of impatient waiting, we are able to do what we came here for: Science! So stay tuned for our next posts, where we will explain a little more of who is doing what in which way and why. There are a lot of questions to be answered.