Meteor Blog 14. August: Sailorman, your home is the ocean
Today's focus is not the ROV but the future nautical officer Bastian Schwarz who has been interviewed by Petra Ristova.
Does the biodiversity of deep-sea organisms play a role for the climate on Planet Earth? Questions all about marine research will be answered directly aboard of the German research vessel Meteor by cruise leader Prof. Antje Boetius and her crew. In cooperation with the geoportal planeterde.de from 17.08.08 to 24.08.08 they contribute a Science-Blog of METEOR expedition M76/3 GUINECO – MARUM research of fluid and gas seeps on the Westafrican continental margin. Technical highlight of the cruise is the remote-controlled under water robot QUEST4000 by MARUM that will be deployed for taking fauna and sediments samples and conduction of in situ experiments. Go on a dive down to places no other human being has ever seen before: explore the fascinating deep-sea fauna and watch the scientists’ work at gas and fluid seeps deep down on the ocean bottom.
Expedition M76/3b is a collaboration of MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at Bremen University and its associated institutes MPI and AWI as well as the French research institute IFREMER and the University of Paris.
More Informationen of the Meteor-Blog, an overview of all contributions to the blog and expedition M76/3B:
14. August 2008 (Author: Petra Ristova)
Sailorman, your home is the ocean
Interview with the future nautical officer Bastian Schwarz
Picture 1 The nautical intern Bastian Schwarz in Meteor’s meeting room.
“Hello” again from Petra Pop Ristova reporting from the Meteor cruise 76/3b (also see BLOG of 19.07. und 06.08.). This is the third time that you will read from me, but this time with a completely different, interesting topic. I had the pleasure to interview the nice and charming, young future nautical officer Bastian Schwarz. Just follow my questions to learn about the life of a future nautical officer.
Where and how was the wish born to become a sailor?
The wish to become sailor developed in my early youth, actually already in my childhood. Since I have any memory, I felt strongly connected to the sea and admired sailors. I believe that my short weekends at Lake Constance were also crucial for developing this wish.
Could you tell me more about your educational background?
When I was about to start my university education, I searched for studies that will bring me closer to the sea. This is how I ended up at the Nautical School of Bremen choosing ‘Nautical and Business studies’. Without any doubt, I think that it was a very good decision even though this required that I had to move away from my home town- Stuttgart and leave all my family and friends behind. But the studies made my wish come true. I already had two opportunities to do an internship at sea.
Please tell us more about your first experiences at sea.
The first internship I did was on a container ship, right away in the first semester of my studies. I loved it! I was there for six months, on a route from England to Morocco. Currently I am doing my second internship, on the Meteor research vessel, this time for seven months.
Having collected experiences on different types of ships, what do you prefer?
Of course a research vessel! Being on a research vessel as a sailor is at least twice more fun. The work is much more diverse, and for example here on Meteor I have the opportunity of meeting so many new and interesting people. All the time new and unpredictable situations come up, for which one must find instant solutions.
What specifically do you do on Meteor?
Basically, I get trained for all different types of work a sailor has to do on a ship. First I was working on deck and afterwards I joined the navigation officer and the chief mate. In all three stations I’ve learned a lot. Now I am involved with the safety issues on board, which means that I mainly work with the safety officer. We do regularly check ups of the life boats, plan fire drills and take care of all possible safety issues on a ship.
What do you do with your free time on board?
Well, I have fixed working hours (from 00:00- 04:00 and 12:00-16:00), but there is almost always more work to be done, which limits my free time. A lot of paper work needs to be completed for the different authorities, especially when we are about to enter a harbour. Otherwise, when there is some free time, I enjoy reading a book, and often I join scientists on board to find out more details about their specific research. Honestly, I am very interested in the work scientists are doing on our research expeditions. (Petra: This is really true, he made me talk about microsensors, microprofilers and bacteria; and he was curious about all the work I do on this cruise). Back in Germany, I still regularly go to Lake Constance and sail. I guess I can not get enough of the life at sea.
What would be your second choice if you did not want to become a sailor?
I can not imagine myself not being a sailor. This is the only type of work I always wanted to do and that I will definitely pursue in my future life. But of course, I am interested in many other things. I would say that maybe the natural sciences would have been my second choice. I truly like the biological research going on at sea.
Are there some draw-backs in being a sailor?
Yes, being far away from home and all the people I love. I miss my girlfriend a lot when I am gone for such a long time.
What are your plans for the future?
Certainly I would like to continue with my career as a nautical sailor and hopefully become officer and who knows, maybe one day also captain J!
Bastian, thank you very much for the interview and I wish you calm sea and a lot of luck with your plans.
To all readers: many greetings from me, and the whole Meteor.
Picture 2 Petra and Bastian during the interview