Heading south again to carry out more measurements, we managed to leave the pirate danger zone and had therefore the one and only chance to have a big party outside: our Bergfest. Traditionally this is organized by the scientific crew and paid for by the chief scientist (thank god that I’m only part of the first and not the latter) so the early evening was spent with setting up the benches and tables, using large buckets full of ice to cool the drinks and decorating the place with colorful balloons. Unfortunately, the balloons all disappeared after 10 seconds in the wind due to our poor knotting skills, which, as a matter of fact, already sets the scene for an event later in the evening. Thanks to Harry, who as a professional bar tender knows the tricks, we also had a little cocktail bar, where later in the evening due to vanishing supplies turned into some adventurous Ginger ale – Fruit juice mixes. The food was great and I have to say on a little side note here, that the food has been really good the whole trip and that we are very lucky to have such a great team, Willi and Andrè, in the kitchen (and all of us are already getting scared of going back home where nobody will prepare yummy fresh pancakes in the morning … and, yes, this can be understood as a little hint to our partners at home).
After 7 o’clock it didn’t take long for all the scientists, who were not in the unlucky work shifts of this evening, and some crew members to get the party started. It is hard to say what caused the bigger laughter from the crowd: the one big wave drenching everybody sitting close to the edge to the bones with salt water or the performance of the radiosonde team, who after a focused sonde set up and balloon filling, simply dropped the sonde in the water when one knot wouldn’t stand the pressure of a turbulent start. The biggest challenge of the evening was definitely dancing on a moving ship in a heavy wind and one had to remind oneself constantly to not go for any too adventurous moves. Although not everybody agreed on the music in the beginning (and I personally can simply not understand the enthusiasm Helene Fischer brings out in young people these days, but one has to stay positive: at least nobody requested that we play the Wildecker Herzbuben), in the end we all danced together until the last drink was gone and the rain forced us back inside at 4 am.
by Susann Tegtmeier