By Sebastian Sims
Cruise DY034 has now come to an end, and with it the end of most Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry Programme field work.
From my perspective, this cruise has been a resounding success. Not only have I learnt a lot of scientific procedures and successfully sampled from CTDs, but also the other scientists have given me a good understanding of their work. I thoroughly enjoyed occasionally helping out with coring and trawling, as I found it fascinating to see the benthic fauna up close. I also enjoyed analysing some of the seafloor photos taken by Autosub. I was interested by the principles behind getting profiles of oxygen and iron concentrations in sediments, nutrient analysis, learning about multibeam and sidescan sonar mapping, as well as the role of gliders and benthic landers in collecting observations independently from the ship.
Outside of the science, this cruise has been a great experience in itself. The stunning sunrises and sunsets, meteor shower and seeing dolphins for the first time kept me going through the tougher days. I have also met a load of great people, who have all made me feel very welcome, and it would be a pleasure to work alongside any of them in the future.
I would like to thank all of the scientists, technicians and crew who made all of this possible. I know more than ever about what it means to be a marine scientist. For all those who have not been on a research cruise before, I would recommend it with the upmost enthusiasm.
I am shortly going to return to my studies, and I await my next cruise opportunity with great anticipation.