After spending nearly 11 weeks at sea, it’s finally the end of our incredible Voyage. On March, 6th 2023 we finally set back foot on land in Punta Arenas (Chile). This was first by having some really nice sailing through the Strait of Magellan, where we were all mesmerized by seeing again so much land, vegetations, and other boats around.
What’s next for our Belgian trio? After spending some well-deserved holidays in Patagonia first for some us, or going straight back home for others, Matthias will go back to Ghent where he will finish his PhD on past glacial variations in southern Patagonia by end of August (we all wish him good luck). After his PhD, he has a first Postdoc waiting in the same research field at INSTAAR in Boulder (USA) by December. A position we were all happy to hear he secured while conducting his interview from on board of the Polarstern! When it comes to Meltse, her main goal on board, getting inspiration for her first feature film Torpor was certainly a success. Especially the social dynamics on board and the routines of research vessels inspired her for some new scenes. She also organized readings and rehearsals of scenes with many enthusiastic volunteers on board. Once back in Belgium she will continue working on her script and we all hope seeing her movie on the big screen in a few years. Together with Matthias, she will also work on a Belgica–Polarstern podcast with recordings and interviews recording during our expedition. As for me, I will continue to work on the data collected during this cruise for my postdoc in Germany on Southern Ocean jellyfish. Expeditions are always unpredictable, but it is with relief I can tell you this one was a success, with enough jellyfish data collected to keep me busy in the next two-three years.
On behalf of all the 125yearsbelgica team, we want to thank you all for following us through our numerous blogs and vlogs. We really hope you had a good time, we certainly did. It was really exciting for us to follow in parallel the stories of the Belgica and directly compare it with our Polarstern experiences.
See you in the future for our next adventures!