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Blog Posts by: Hanna Paulomaki

I was so happy to manage squeezing-in the opportunity in my schedule to visit our expedition in the Quark. And, equally, I was happy that my visit fit within the expedition's schedule as well. It would have been such a pity to miss this chance while the crew was in Finnish waters.

This morning I woke-up tired. Maybe it was from the weight of many long days of work at sea. Or maybe it was the motionless boat at the harbor making sleeping light than normal. I don’t know, but either way I was happy knowing that this was the last day. Sad too, as it meant saying goodbye to many great people. Although I had the pleasure of spending just over two weeks with this crew, I still felt that I had fully blended in.

You learn a lot about patience when working on research vessels. There are many things which are beyond your control; the weather and currents being the most obvious ones. At any time you need to be able to adjust your plans and work under the prevailing conditions. Things may also break down and you need to re-plan and see if there is some other work that could be done instead. Often the connections to the outside world are also poor when offshore and you are only able to communicate with your colleagues in office and family randomly, not necessarily when you need to.

Today was my first full day on the Neptune. I came onboard yesterday to replace Helena who finished her shift and returned back to her dry office. I’m delighted to be at sea once again and waking up to fresh sea air is always lovely. Well, at least when it happens that is. Last night we remained at the harbor as we waited for a couple more arrivals and one vital delivery for the ROV. On top of the delay we regrettably docked next to a fishmeal factory replacing that refreshing sea breeze with the unsavory stench of rotten fish.

There is no better feeling than getting to the sea after months and months of planning and preparations. Today was, again, one of those days: first day at sea and a beginning of another adventure. This time we are exploring the marine life and, the threats towards it, in the Sound or Öresund/Øresund as the Swedes and Danes call the strait they share.

When I was asked by our Science Director Ricardo Aguilar last winter if I wanted to join on-board the Ranger for Oceana´s Malta expedition it was very difficult not to sound overly excited (which I probably did) when saying yes. Because I REALLY wanted to go on-board the Ranger. And, here I am! Finally! Sailing and doing field work for the second day now. And, I have to say, it is as exciting as I thought it would be.

“Dialogue with stakeholders has proven to be essential for achieving the objectives of the CFP. Taking into account the diverse conditions throughout Union waters and the increased regionalisation of the CFP, Advisory Councils should enable the CFP to benefit from the knowledge and experience of all stakeholders.” (Recital 65 of CFP Basic Regulation)