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Meteor Log 17th July: Let go all lines!

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In co-operation with the Max-Planck-Institute for marine Microbiology cruise leader Antje Boetius and her internationale science team report from 17.07. 2008 to 24.08.2008 on the website about live and work on board Meteor. The science blog of the 76th Meteor-Expedition starts with a contribution by Christina Bienhold, Microbiologist and GLOMAR-PhD student from Bremen.

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More information on the actual blog and about Meteor-Expedition M76/3B

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17. July 2008 (Author: Christina Bienhold)

21°33' S, 013° 24' E

Today’s BLOG is contributed by:

Christina Bienhold„ Hi, my name is Christina Bienhold and I am a PhD student of the graduate school GLOMAR of the University of Bremen. I am doing my research in the Habitat group of the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. During my Ph.D. studies I am investigating microbial biodiversity in deep-sea sediments. On this cruise I will be involved in the sampling for molecular and biogeochemical analyses.”

Let go all lines!

17. Juli: ShiptrackThis morning at 10 am Meteor and its international crew leave “Walvisbaai” (Namibia) (picture 1). Accompanied by the pilots and lots of jellyfish in the waters around us, we begin our scientific voyage, which will last six weeks and take us northward from here to the Congo continental margin. At departure all scientists gather on deck with cameras at hand - to witness the start of our journey and enjoy the last views of land (picture 2 and 3). For many of them it is the first time on a research vessel, but I believe that also for the experienced sea-going scientists it is always the beginning of another new adventure. We are waved goodbye by a few seals that pop up their heads, as well as by a large sea turtle that suddenly appears on portside to catch a breath, but disappears as quickly as it had appeared (picture 4).

17. Juli: Bild 1

Picture 1: METEOR leaves Walvisbay harbor. On the aft deck the remotely operated vehicle QUEST 4000 and the transport system LIFT are installed

The morning was also used for an introduction to the safety on board by the officer in charge who informed us about the alarm signals and some important rules on board. Afterwards the general alarm was practised and everyone had to gather at the meeting point on deck with his/her life vest (Similar to a fire alarm on land, just that you do not bring a life vest there). The first scientific meeting in the afternoon was used to give a short overview of the working area, to introduce all participating scientists and to design a rough program for the next days, during which we will steam towards the working area.

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Picture 2: Group of scientists from Germany, Peru and Nigeria who watch the departure on deck (l.t.r.: R. Stiens, A. Boetius, O. Oni, CJ. Caparachin).

For the next six weeks the Meteor will be our working environment, our home and place for social exchange. I am excited and looking forward to that.

Christina Bienhold

17. Juli: Bild 3

Picture 3: Start of the GUINECO cruise M76/3B

17. Juli: Bild 4

Picture 4: A special farewell guest – a giant sea turtle - accommanied the research vessel Meteor.