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  • Writer's pictureAja Trebec

The turning point

Here we are – our filtration days have gone by in the blink of an eye, giving us space to breathe, but at the same time, leaving us to question what we should do next. During the oceanographic cruise on board of Sarmiento de Gamboa, I was assigned to supervise our students behind the filtration stations. At first, I had no idea how I would manage such an important role and I felt a bit odd also, considering that I am around the same age as the students. However, as the days went by, I had pulled up my sleeves and started noticing their motivation and availability for ANYTHING that was necessary to successfully complete work shifts.

Showing work effort is contagious, and along with it comes the laughter, deep conversations in the lounge area after work, and on and on I could count the sweet instances that I exchanged with my team. Sometimes we tend to misunderstand the unspoken, so I reckon that the crucial part of the experience is communication; observing each other and giving us time for self-management in the stressful of moments. This allowed us to go through the first nineteen transect sampling stations easily. Then came a few days of steady day shifts, followed by intense functional training and yoga classes between the chairs in the meeting room, which were a preparation for the decisive filtration battlefield, before disembarking.

The last seventeen transect stations, waking up rather early in the morning and finishing at sunset, we became expert mussels, filtering almost 7000 liters of seawater and collecting over 1500 samples to analyze back in the laboratories. And all of it was possible due to the constant team building and the conscious teamwork. Ianna and Álvaro, thank you both for making my first oceanographic expedition so special and worth remembering.

Proud mussels.

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