Photos: Sinikka Lennartz

The info-screens that are set up in every lab don’t leave any doubt: the next waypoint is „Anfahrt Male“, so the cruise’s end is approaching. Most of the instruments were switched off this morning, and for the last time, people gathered with all kinds of different sample bottles (and gloves! see previous blog…) in the Geolab to take the last underway sample at 10 o’clock local time.

But that doesn’t mean that the work is finished: Today, everybody joined a big sports event also known as “packing”, and improved the various disciplines (almost) to perfection. Standard disciplines like “Parcours” had to be performed by everyone, as moving around obstacles such as half-fully packed boxes in the way, loose cables hanging from the ceiling and air-bubble foil everywhere became a challenge. “Weight lifting” was also on the agenda: the fully packed boxes and some not-very-handy instruments had to be transported from the labs to the deck below where they wait to be packed into the container tomorrow. Last but not least, some of us didn’t fear the king discipline of “snake cursing”, and finally succeeded in taming the 50 m of uncooperative Decabon tubing that had to be taken down all the way from the monkey deck to the lab. The 29°C air temperature, burning sun and the high humidity didn’t really make things easier while working on deck, but all in all, the good weather, the calm sea and the occasional cool coke brought by some helpers kept everyone in good spirit.

Slowly, the labs begin to empty and we start to see the surface of the tables below our instruments, rubber mats and sample vials again. Tomorrow, we will continue our excercise with “Extreme 3D-Tetris” as all the boxes somehow need to go into the container…

by Sinikka Lennartz