By the students from the Floating Summer School |
It is half past twelve on Saturday 31st of October 2015 and we are writing to you from the Red Saloon aboard the RV Polarstern. Just two days ago, we left Bremerhaven, Germany, and we are in the middle of the English Channel. Out of a total of 470 applications, 32 candidates from19 countries were selected to participate in a Floating Summer School from Bremerhaven, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa. This programme was jointly organised by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Partnership for Observation of Global Oceans (POGO), and the Irish Marine Research Institute (IMI). The Nippon Foundation/POGO, and Stiftung Mercator support the Floating Summer School.
The overall goal of this programme is to provide training to the selected candidates on Oceanography. Therefore, ten scientists from the AWI, POGO and the strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART) are on board, instructing us in this diverse field. Thus far we had the opportunity to listen to two lectures by Prof. Dr. Peter Lemke on ‘The Climate System and the Oceans’ in a preparatory workshop in Bremerhaven before embarking last week. We also visited the Ice Laboratory of AWI in Bremerhaven last Wednesday. On Thursday, our exciting journey began as we
disembarked from the Lloyd shipyard – Polarstern’s standard berth in the homeport – to head towards our destination of Cape Town, South Africa. Yesterday, we were occupied with safety training, orientation tours around the ship, as well as unpacking, installing, and securing the laboratory equipment (in case of bad weather conditions). Today some of our groups took the first samples, and prepared their first experiments, which will start at our first station in the Western European Shelf.
At the moment, there is an air of excitement amongst the students, as we are all looking forward to getting our hands wet working with the samples and reaching warmer conditions further south. We also hope that the Greek God Poseidon will bring us calm and warm currents, so we have a nice working atmosphere.
We wish you a pleasant weekend!
The students from the Floating Summer School