M133 – First days at sea

Panorama of the port of Cape Town where our expedition began. © Elisabeth Thölken

Today, sunday, is the fourth day at sea for us and we are slowly developing a routine. We are divided up into groups of four, each group doing two of six shifts on board – each shift lasts four hours and during that shift we are responsible for doing all the measurements that are scheduled at that time and caring for all the instruments on board.

Sunset on RV Meteor. ©Elisabeth Thölken

It is fascinating work and most of it is very new to all of us. The students on this cruise have a variety of academic backgrounds – there are of course oceanographers, but also biologists, chemists, and physicists – and two high school students and me, a political scientist. So a very varied mix, with all its promises of great exchange and opportunities for learning during our 29 days on the beautiful Meteor.

Setting out an Argo Float ©Elisabeth Thölken

The instruments we take care of and do measurements with are mostly CTD, uCTD and XBT. We also already set out three Argofloats – and even though we have only been at sea four days we already learned a lot about how things should work, how they really work, and what happens when they don’t work.

We all hope the next few weeks will go smoothly and I am sure it will be a lot of fun for everyone! 🙂


Looking forward to the coming weeks and experiences. ©Elisabeth Thölken


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