The Trip to Bergen on RV Alkor

Author: Juliane Tammen, Pictures: Juliane Tammen & Michael Sswat

Is there a better way to start a 2.5 month long scientific study than using a research vessel as a cruise ship?

Our 10 mesocosms needed to be transported and deployed by the research vessel Alkor. As the ship is not only able to transport mesocosms but also has several cabins for scientists, I was lucky and could go to Bergen by joining the Alkor team.

We met in the early morning on 3rd May to start our journey. Since Anna, Philipp, Wanja and I are students in the same master’s programme at GEOMAR, some friends of us came to the pier to say goodbye for the next 2.5 months.

It was the first time for all of us on RV Alkor and it was a very special moment to start our journey by leaving the Kieler Förde on a vessel.

We had 2 wonderful days on sea with a great crew and perfect weather conditions. When we crossed the Skagerak, the sky was blue and cloudless. It was a new and honestly pretty good experience to join a research cruise without having work to do in the lab. Hence, we were able to spend lots of time on deck to enjoy the beautiful Norwegian coast on the horizon.  

But our time at sea ended far too quickly… as soon as we arrived in Bergen, we started to unload all mesocosms and to assemble the 10th, which needed to be transported in single parts due to limited space on deck of RV Alkor (not difficult to see, when you have a look at the picture below). Even though Bergen welcomed us with heavy rain all day long and my rain trousers turned out to not being waterproof, we were enjoying the work to the fullest.

On May 6th, many old but also some new faces welcomed us at the research station accompanied by a wonderful view on the mountains the next morning. I must say, the Fjord and all the surrounding small islands make a very good front garden!

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