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Packing for a long trip (8 May 2023)


Current position while writing (diamond shape). The circles are the positions at previous blog posts, the black line is roughly the route we took (base map from Opens external link in new windowggplot2).

When travelling for so long and additionally on a ship in the middle of nowhere with no shops to buy things, there goes a lot of thought into which things to take with you. I found it quite difficult to anticipate what I will need. I’ve never been on a cruise before and there certainly is experience lacking. Luckily, I seem to have taken all the important things, I’m not missing anything (yet). Making lists and advance and careful considerations seem to pay off.

So, what did I take? Some things were easy:

  • - Lab coat, helmet and safety boots for lab and work on deck
  • - USB sticks, paper, pens, notes on how to use the instruments
  • - FFP2 masks, tablets against seasickness, sun protection, sweets

The ship is providing us with towels and bed linen, so we don’t have to bring them. Which clothes to pack was a lot more difficult. Eric told us it would get warm and humid. So rain jackets and long-sleeved shirts against the sun, but they should not be too warm. It really is not easy to anticipate what would be the most practical things to take. At the moment, I quite like wearing long-sleeved blouses. I can easily move the sleeves up if it gets too warm but in the cooler areas (some labs are cooled to 20 °C) it’s warm enough at least for a while.


Suitcase: In the end, there was enough space left to take two more books. Additionally, I packed the chocolate I got for Easter. (Picture: Rieke Schäfer)

For the electronic equipment, I made sure to have at least one cable for each. Bringing something and then not having a cable would be very unfortunate. Of course, I took a laptop, phone and camera. For Ecuador, I also took a travel adapter. I did bring my headphones, however, I’m not using them to listen to music much at the moment, mostly I enjoy their active noise cancelling when I’m working in the lab for longer periods of time.

Additionally to all of this, I took a lot of small (important) things: binoculars, books, TRIS buffer to test the pH measurements and so on.


Carry-on: There are always so many things to put into the carry-on luggage. Especially, all the electronics are more numerous than one thinks. (Picture: Rieke Schäfer)

Packing so many things, I did not expect to fit everything easily and be below the limit by several kilograms. As there was space left, I took two more books..

Everything is ready to go.
Everything is ready to go. (Picture: Rieke Schäfer)


PTB doctoral student Opens local program for sending emailRieke Schäfer is blogging here directly from the RV "Sonne" on her way west from South America across the Pacific Ocean.