Days and weeks on boardIce shelf edge
+++ 70° 31’ S, 8° 45’ W +++ --‐3°C
+++ wind force 6 +++
11 January 2015
(by Marcel Nicolaus, translation: Ina Lefering)

There is always something going on on board of Polarstern. People say ‘the ship never sleeps’. We live and work in a 24h rhythm; 24 hours of daylight, sometimes brighter sometimes darker depending on the cloud coverage. Most people on board work in shifts. There are typically 3 shifts or watches: 0-4 o’clock, 4-8 o’clock and 8-12 o’clock, repeated every 12 hours. Others work mostly during the day, we have manifold schedules here. And since there are no weekends or other regular days off on board, it is difficult to remember: which day of the week is today?

There are a few rules that help to remind you which day it is, at least once a day. These rules are mostly related to food and the different ‘shops’: there is always ice cream for dessert on Sundays and Thursdays, the so called ‘sailor’s Sunday’. Friday is fish day and on Saturday we have soups and stews on the menu. Due to the shifts, it is always time for ‘breakfast’ or ‘lunch’ for someone. So there is the possibility to have a warm ‘lunch’ 3 times a day – if you want.Besides the regular meals there are ‘shops’ from Monday to Friday where you can buy everything else you need. Mondays and Thursdays, you can buy sweets, cigarettes, wine and liquor; on Tuesdays and Fridays you can buy water, soft drinks and juice; and on Wednesdays you can buy toiletries, souvenirs, and everything else you might have forgotten.

In addition, there is a bar, called ‘Zillertal’, which is usually open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Sauna days are also divided into weekdays for men and for women.Some events are scheduled daily. There is a weather and helicopter flight meeting every morning at 8.15 am. Usually, there is an update on the weather at 1pm because conditions may have changed significantly within 5 hours. The science and general planning meeting is held every evening at 6.30 pm.

Today is the already the 6th Sunday of the cruise: this means there will be ice cream after lunch, there is no shop tonight, but the group meeting at 6.30pm. And of course: the weight watchers’ club is meeting at 10.30 am every Sunday. There, everyone can check his/her weight and will get to know how it changed within the course of the week. More on the weight watchers’ club might be coming soon.

Impressions