Bericht der hydrochemischen Arbeitsgruppe:
Having seen the tireless activity of the chemists nervously moving around the rosette, the crew suspected „sorcery“. If you ever have watched films about witches or alchemists, you can easily picture the day and night ceremonies carried out by our chemical group.
For sure, you can’t image chemists without their laboratory and the bouquet of amazing fragrances. The lab was set up quickly: a scratched table, an old chair and a couple of plump bottles. But the „unforgettable“ chemical atmosphere was concentrated in just one box which was hidden far away from the nosy non-chemists. Then, the picture was completed with an infinite amount of differently shaped and sized bottles and pots.
Our „magic“ began by carefully arranging the bottles in special drawers. The larger containers dedicated to SPM (suspended particular matter), chlorophyll a and CDOM (chromatic dissolved organic matter) were comfortably sitting in a bigger box. The tiny ones for dissolved oxygen, δ18O and biogenic element samples were stored up in another cozy box.
After having arrived at a station, we carried our box with the sample bottles over deck to the rosette. The procession was led by the Daughters of Eve, occasionally they were disturbed by Yellow-XXXL-Trouser-Man, also known as Karlson from the roof. As soon as the oceanographers gave the green light, the rosette was attacked. The plan was always the same: while the bigger bottles were waiting peacefully aside, the army of smaller bottles sounded the attack. For the distant observer the most spectacular moment might have been the dissolved oxygen sampling. By using some reagents, the chemists turned pure seawater into something like orange juice with slowly sinking flakes.
From time to time the well-coordinated work was disturbed by some frustrating things such as leaking bathometers, unpleasant weather conditions or the crane insisting on having its way concerning working hours.
As soon as the last bottle was closed, the procession retreated and hurried to the laboratory one deck upstairs. While the chlorophyll samples were filtrated accompanied by the noise of vacuum pump and the dissolved oxygen samples were titrated, the other samples were frozen and packed for later analyses.
After everything was accomplished, the bottles were ordered in their boxes, life in the lab came to a standstill, waiting for the next station. In this way station followed station and the days passed. Nightfall announced the end of the first act. After a quick dinner the second part started, which was no less exciting: that was what they called night shift.
8 p.m.: Beginning of night shift
The work process during the night shift was absolutely identical to the one of the day shift, beside some amazing peculiarities: you could muse about the starlight reflected in the water samples or grab benthos from the awesome darkness of the ocean. You could catch the rising sun in a plankton net.
The night is so dark and you could see your mates only because of their bright yellow overalls. The long waiting times for the next station were shortened by having a snack or watshing a movie. Time went by very fast and only the cheerful „Good morning“ from the day shift made you realize that one more night had passed!