PS123 - Weekly Report No. 2 | 28.12.2020 - 03.01.2021

Crossing the Equator

[07. January 2021] 

After we had sent the 3rd CoV-2 swab from Las Palmas to Bremerhaven, Polarstern continues its journey southwards. The weather is increasingly summerly. Near the Canary Islands, the thermometer already shows 18 ° C, we pass the Cape Verde Islands at 26 ° C, a cloudless sky and a gentle swell of 2 meters from the north. The hard-earned “sea legs” can rest for now, it could really be worse.

Thus, the atmosphere is excellent and everyone is wonderfully cared for by the crew and can use the time on board for their own duties. The overwinterers are prepared for the observatory work, they are introduced to the equipment in the hospital, and scientific equipment is installed. There is a first aid course, afternoon meetings and lectures take place.

On December 30, the Hydrosweep Multi Beam is calibrated. The transducer was exchanged during the stay in the shipyard, and a Sound Velocitiy Probe (SVP) is first carried out to adjust the new installation position, followed by three calibration lines. Translated for people without bathymetric expertise, this means that the device with which maps the seabed en route has been reset after a partial replacement in Bremerhaven.

We celebrate New Year's Eve very nicely with a barbecue and on 02.01. we pass the equator at 2:45 p.m. Here, in the zone of inter-tropical convergence, thunderstorms occur more frequently, but we have only come across them in the context of the DWD weather forecast. The wind turns from the northeast to the southeast trade wind and with the wind also the wave.

Greetings from the southern hemisphere, from a sea where fishes fly over the surface during daytime and in which plankton shines at night,


Tim Heitland




Tim Heitland

Scientific Coordination

Ingo Schewe
Ingo Schewe


Sanne Bochert
Sanne Bochert