1,500 leagues above the sea…

It’s time again for a new blog entry about our expedition SO254.

Meanwhile, we finished station 11 out of 22 and are located at 41° 6,930‘ S and 179° 50,104 W. Since the start of the research cruise in Auckland on the 28.01.2017, we steamed already more than 1500 nautical miles, i.e., nearly 2,900 km! This distance is equivalent to driving the Bundesautobahn 7 three times from the very North all the way to southernmost Germany.

The SONNE is steaming on calm seas – and has alreay passed 1,500 nautical miles!

After we experienced cozy 22 °C at the beginning of the expedition (Southern Hemisphere summer is from November to March…), the temperature is now dropping significantly during our southwards journey. While steaming with about 12 knots towards subantarctic waters, we still have blue sky though with air temperatures at 14 °C and water at 18 °C.

So far, the ocean treated us pretty well. Only in the last few days the boat started shaking. It is however remarkable how stable the SONNE passes through rough seas. Hence, the scientific workforce had not yet to suffer from any downtime so that we keep doing our work with enthusiasm and a fair amount of scientific curiosity.

Speaking of fair amounts. The galley staff and the stewards of the SONNE are doing an amazing job! Every single day, we are looking forward to the breakfast buffet with a great selection of fresh fruits, a tasty and variable lunch (also for vegetarians!) and a rich dinner. There is something here for everyone and for my part, I am glad that my handheld scale has a maximum capacity of no more than 50 kg.

The next blog entry with a more scientific focus will follow soon to keep the balance!

And in the end: Where is the SONNE?

With this in mind,

Your science party of SO254

(Translation by Torben Struve)