Evolutionary ecology
Letters from the Southern Ocean

Southern Ocean: reflections from home

Torborg's Master thesis in the Southern Ocean: Letter 10.3.2016 — finally home

A group of people standing on deck of a vessel, with arctic background
Enjoying fresh air on the deck of F/V Saga Sea. From left to right: Georg Skaret, Torborg Emmerhoff Rustand, Bjørn Krafft, Ludvig Krag, Ronald Pedersen.
Kjell Rune Venås

It’s now been a week since I came home from my little adventure, and I thought I’d write a final sum-up letter.

In the last letter we were still on our way back on to Montevideo, and most days were the kind of the same, spent checking data, reading, listening to podcasts and looking out over the seemingly endless ocean. It was quite strange yet again being completely cut off from the rest of the world with no Internet, as I had been slightly more spoiled on board Saga Sea. I suppose this is a classic marine biologist lesson though – prepare for a lot of time spent waiting, and try to use it at least semi-wisely. 

When we finally got to Montevideo, I surprised myself by having slightly mixed feelings about leaving the ship. Though it was extremely good to finally get there, it really felt like the end of a journey for which I was (and still am) so grateful for having experienced. In addition to visit a place I never thought I’d get to, see exotic wildlife and extreme polar beauty, I also gained a lot of new perspective (I think at least) on fisheries. It’s very interesting to me to see things from other side of what I’ve been used to, having studied marine biology abroad previously where a more conservationist, rather than management view was in focus. It’s hard to explain correctly, but my main point is that there are some valuable lessons to learn from people who are actually out at sea working. 

After getting off the ship, we then spent a couple of days in Montevideo, which was a really nice ending (though I was swaying a bit, finally being on land) before the very long journey home started. Now I’m back in Bergen, ready for some data analysis!