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Land ho!

'Dip and run' on Gotland. (Image: FAU/Susanne Langer)

The sight of land had never been so welcome to a sailing crew, or so it felt, when the shores of the Swedish island of Gotland rose up from afar. One day at anchor – what a tempting prospect for our researcher teams on leg 3 of Science Sets Sail. Taking a nap without running outside to the railing! Enjoying a meal! And after everything we’d experienced together over the last few days: time to talk science! Spirits finally were high again on the Thor Heyerdahl.

In the evening the teams went ashore, felt solid ground beneath their feet. Martin Bondesgaard, who had discovered his Viking roots, led a small group of people to collect firewood: the safe landing then was celebrated with a bonfire – and a huge barbecue. The next morning, teams sat together to exchange thoughts and ideas about their research projects. And who said that the Open Ship Day – though not taking place in Gdansk – would have to be cancelled completely? “The teams have so much great research to present and share – even if it is only to the other teams – and the fish!” says Susanne from the organisational team. “So they decided to do an Open Ship Day nevertheless: onboard. Even though it actually had to be a ‘Closed Ship Day’ as swimming to Thor from the shore probably was not an option for potential visitors…”

And after a successful scientific exchange – and a full recovery of health conditions – the winds were finally favourable! Which meant an ‘all hands on deck’ manoeuver to hoist up the sails and enjoy the beautiful Thor Heyerdahl being driven by the wind towards the next stop, Bornholm, to refill on Diesel.