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Hey there, happy Heincke Cruisers, 2018 (:

I've decided to make a short FAQ section for you since I've successfully survived the Heincke once before. I'm putting down everything that comes to mind, but should you have any other questions, get in touch and we'll sort them out!

What should I bring?

Helgoland is nice. Helgoland is also cold. Yes, even towards the end of April. Pack some clothes and attire for warmer weather but if you don't want to freeze, please also bring some warmer things, even if you think you might not need them. Please keep in mind that while out at sea, there is constant wind and it's a lot more frosty than on land.

Here's all the special stuff I packed last year:

  • water-proof rain jacket (It rained. A lot. Also, waves.)
  • a pair of sturdy shoes/boots for the island (as mentioned at the prep seminar, prof. Unnithan offers a small geological excursion around Helgoland and a firm shoe is a good companion for that)
  • 2 sweaters and a thinner jacket for on the ship (especially if you work with teh CTD/sediment cores, or in the wet lab, you'll spend a lot of time on deck where it's frosty)
  • LAYERS, your new best friend. Skinny jeans are very unsuited for work on the Heincke. You get dirty and wet and it's uncomfortable. I took a lot of leggins and long-sleeves to layer and take off if too warm.
  • thermo stuff (leggins, shirts)
  • a hat, scarf, and a pair of gloves you can work with, best with a coarse texture on the palms. Mine looked somewhat like this:
  • socks. PLENTY of socks.
  • laptop/camera

Pro tip: bring a small backpack you can take from the hostel to the ship. Please always have a spare change of clothes with you in case it rains on the way to the ship or you get your clothes wet on the ship while working.


Food (because I know it's important)

The cook on the ship is amazing. For every meal, plenty of food is provided, including vegetarian options. Make sure to indicate any special dietary needs ahead of time, ESPECIALLY if you have any allergies. Mealtimes are a bit special, breakfast is around 07:00, lunch was at 11:30 and dinner at 17:30. There was also a short coffee break in the early afternoon where you could get coffee and some biscuits or cake. And yes, coffee is always around to get.


On the ship

As you saw in the seminar, there are plenty of different projects to join and areas to work in. In the ideal case that you are currently done with your own work or waiting for a new task and not feeling ill, there's plenty of stuff to do:

  • have a look around at the other groups - usually someone needs a hand quickly
  • use the time to take down your progress into your notes or already start your report
  • ask questions! The cruise is a great hand-on experience and gives you the chance to try out all the equiptment you've talked about in the lectures. Curious about shipwrecks? We have an archeologist coming with us, ask him. Want to have a quick look through the microscope eventhough you're working on the CTD? Ask to have a look. We have a bunch of people joining us who specialize in different areas and don't mind you asking questions. Scientific curiosity is great (smile)
  • if all else fails, our two chief scientists (Jelle and Vikram) will usually find something to do
  • should the above option be fruitless: catch some fresh air on deck and enjoy the view!



  • Tried and positively tested: Reisetabletten Heumann (pack of 20 tablets, prescription-free in any pharmacy, approx. 5€)
  • It's important to take the tablets about an hour BEFORE you get on the ship. Once you're on the ship, taking a new tablet every 4 hours should help keep seasickness at bay.
  • In general, but especially if you get seasick, drink plenty of water. PLENTY. 
  • If you feel sick or very unwell, please let us know!! Safety first (smile)


Documentation, grading, etc

Your report is a big part of the grade. Although it is due only a month after the excursion, it's best to get it done with on the excursion when you're in the process and can best describe it. The report template can be found on the Documentation page and if you need any other help or have questions, you can ask me anytime! Reports need to be uploaded to the PIGGY server to which the access data is included in the prep seminar slidefiles. If it doesn't work, let me know. (For Windows users: I find WinSCP nicer to use than Filezilla). I have attached here the report from last year that I wrote together with Sokhna on our project so you can get an idea ofwhat your report should look like (don't mess up the date though like we did).

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