We left the port of La-seyne-sur-mer in the evening of June 24th, headed to Malta. Before departure, every box, every instrument and everything else had to be tied down tightly; even the laboratory containers got strapped down in addition to their welding to the deck! We soon understood why this was necessary, as the ship started swaying quite a bit after we got out onto the sea. (And this is just the calm Mediterranean…)
The first night offshore was an uncomfortable experience for some of us, because the rolling of the ship caused some seasickness here and there. Others were just reminded of their childhood and compared it to the rocking of a cradle… Luckily, in the next morning everyone was back to their feet and the sea became very calm. The weather has stayed like that ever since, allowing for a barbecue on the aft deck on our second evening on sea! But if you think seafaring on the Mediterranean in brightest sunshine automatically makes this a leisure cruise, you are mistaken. 😉 Everyone here is working very hard to get instruments running, and people literally dripping with sweat are quite a normal sight on board. Luckily, the fantastic crew is spoiling us with lots of good food, so if one gets frustrated with their instrument, there is always a piece of tasty cake waiting in the mass.
Today, on 26th June, we passed Tunisia and were able to see the Atlas Mountains on the horizon. Tomorrow we are expecting to enter port in Malta, where we will welcome new members of the scientific crew.