Benthos monitoring

By: Erik Meesters · 19 November 2018
Category: Saba Bank

Today everybody is arriving in Sint Maarten. Excitement is building up. For half of the 17 researchers this is not the first time on the Caribbean Explorer II, which is good for me, they’ll know the drill. The airport in Sint Maarten is still not fully rebuilt since it was…

Start of the Saba Bank expedition 2018

By: Erik Meesters · 16 November 2018
Category: Saba Bank

Header image: Saba Bank during our expedition in 2015 (photo: David Stevens). We (Lisa Becking, Tobia de Scisciolo, and me) are ahead of the rest of the team to try out techniques that we want to use on the Saba Bank and to refresh contacts with our coral restoration project…

There and back again

By: Anneke Van den Brink · 5 September 2018
Category: Svalbard

When I think back on this expedition; about all the things we have been doing; all the beaches we have sampled, the distance we have travelled, I can’t even think of one single highlight. We have had so many highlights that will make this trip unforgettable. After heading south from…

82 degrees north

A mother and cub polar bear in the expanse of Arctic sea ice (photo by Martine van den Heuvel-Greve)
By: Anneke Van den Brink · 3 September 2018
Category: Svalbard

Plancius took a turn and headed straight north. After half a week on board, the atmosphere among the passengers has become more relaxed, interactions have moved past the small talk and into enjoying each other’s company. Martine was invited to give a presentation on the project to inform the passengers…

Onwards and upwards

By: Anneke Van den Brink · 30 August 2018
Category: Svalbard

Our four days in Longyearbyen consisted of laundry, sorting samples, preparing for the coming second half of the expedition, and much anticipated showering! We also exchanged our team member Hans for Kimberley, an expert in marine aliens and biosecurity from New Zealand. We were now a four-women research squad, ready…

Eerie silence

By: Anneke Van den Brink · 27 August 2018
Category: Svalbard

We reached the final beaches of the southern part of the expedition overnight. We were in Bellsund, a fjord located halfway between Hornsund (to the south) and Isfjorden (to the north). We started around 05:00 to be able to sample during low tide. When we emerged on deck we found…

An oasis of civility

Icebergs in the water near the glacier at Hornsund (photo by Anneke van den Brink)
By: Anneke Van den Brink · 25 August 2018
Category: Svalbard

Alas! We remain unshowered! Our luck improved since our first sampling attempt on Edgeøya, and finally we were beginning to fill our sample bottle storage box. As our boat made its way through glassy waters surrounded by steep, scoured cliffs where landslides had exposed the permafrost in some areas, we…