Life on a research cruise

by Nicole Krause

For the last 2 weeks life on the Falkor (too) has consisted of lot of hard work but has also been filled with memorable experiences unrelated to our research. During the transit to the East Pacific Rise, we were lucky enough to have calm, mostly sunny weather, and see a large diversity of wildlife. We observed flying fish, sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, a large array of sea birds, and even sharks. The collective elation of the scientists and the crew as the pod of more than 10 dolphins swam along with Falkor (too) during sunset was a particularly special moment.

(Left) Sunset. Attribution: Nicole Krause; (Center) Marine technicians. Attribution: Monika Bright; (Right) Best view. Attribution: Ingrid Kolar (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Since arrival at our experimental site, research has been taking a center stage among our daily routines and conversation, however, life beyond science is still an integral part of the experience. This is enabled by the ships impressive game room, cinema room, outdoor lounges, and gym. After the lab work every evening, lounging in the comfortable outdoor spaces is one of our favorite ways to unwind and prepare for the next busy day. Group camaraderie and mental relaxation are key to keeping the positive energy on board in the middle of the ocean. Not to mention, the three delicious hot meals we get from the Chefs every day, including fresh fruits and vegetables, keep us constantly full and very happy. Doing marine research on Falkor (too) truly allows an immersive experience into science, but also enables a collaborative spirit and fulfilling experiences beyond the science.

(Left) The Mess. Attribution: Stéphane Hourdez; (Right) Viral dilution. Attribution: Salvador Espada (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)