8 March 2021: The last day

At 9h20 this morning, the RV Marion-Dufresne makes its grand entrance into the West Port of Reunion Island. Slightly tricky maneuver, neither the entrance nor the dock are very wide. Slowly, the quay gets closer.  Once connected to the shore, the loop is complete. A current of emotions, hugs, the last ones before returning to […]


4 March 2021: The scientific command post and the cruise chief scientists

Very little mention has been made to the scientific command post so far and yet it is one of the ship’s neuralgic centers, especially for the scientists (and Martin). It is from the command post that the controls for lowering, raising and closing the rosettes start, it is from the command post that the strategic […]


3 March 2021: Nostalgia and grace

Last night we crossed the 40th parallel, this time the gateway to the famous eponymous roars. In the wake, a few white-chinned petrels, a sooty one and our faithful Serge, this great albatross who has been following us for a long time… it doesn’t matter to us whether it’s him or a cousin, his name […]


23 February 2021: Night of auroras

This night, the sea is quite quiet. In transit in the southernmost sector of the ocean section, we head towards station 57 (56°24 S – 78°23 E). I (Catherine) fill the logbook, in a soft night routine. Around 2 am, Manu arrives at the PC. “Did you see how clear the night is? It’s an […]


20 February 2021: What on Earth is going on under our feet?

After more than a month at sea, the Marion Dufresne has travelled 10159 km and navigated on changing sea floor, ranging from 100 m to 5 km deep. Under our feet are organisms of various sizes: from microscopic to the largest whales in the world! At the “centre” of this complex food chain are the […]


17-18 February 2021: HEARD the magnificent

When a meander of the jet stream couples with a southern depression in formation on the polar front, where the most intense thermal contrasts occur, it generates an explosive hurricane-force storm. Weather forecast for February 17th, Sara’s birthday: a barometer at 967 mbar, winds gusting over 90 knots and waves of 10 or even 12 […]


15 February 2021: the KERFIX station

One of the stations of the SWINGS cruise bears the funny name of KERFIX (50°42 S-68°30 E). It is not a base of the indomitable Gauls, even if it was the favourite joke of our international colleagues between 1991 and 1995, duration of the time series ” KERguelen point FIX “. Indeed, this station was […]


12 February 2021: It rolls, it rocks, it swings!

There are waves on the ocean and fortunately for us, the RV Marion Dufresne embraces them. Today, a beautiful white crested swell of 5-6 m high comes in from the starboard, which rises and falls in a swaying surf.  Inside, another adventure. The ship rolls from one side to the other (or rocks if the […]


10 February 2021: Learn how “to milk” the rosette

7HAM the rosette is at 500m depth. The alarm clock of the cabin starts to ring, the “quarter-CTD”, with their softest voice, orchestrates the movement of some and the tempo of others. It is the hour of the milking. Gloves, hats, boots, pipes, a slight tension when the rosette emerges after its dive. The Niskin […]