On-board Diary: 8 may 2012

Author: Jesús Molino - Diver and Deck coordinator
Date: May 8, 2012

Jesús Molino - Diver and Deck coordinatorToday’s goal is to find, using the ROV, a group of small mountains that rise from 50 to 15 m deep, checking that they really exist and can be filmed. We reach our first stop, the ship drops anchor and after a quick breakfast we start to work. The ROV has some trouble surfacing which is solved by technicians. The location is not the expected one, so we set sail towards a similar point and try again. The Olex locates a mountain with the desired characteristics and the ROV confirms scientists’ intuitions: this is the place to film. It’s 12:40, the ROV has just been pulled up onto the deck and it’s time for lunch.

I watch my colleagues disappear into these Finnish waters and try to imagine what the water feels like: we are farther and farther North in the Baltic Sea, and I am certain that the water here is at least 2 degrees colder. Gorka and I jump in and plunge into the greenness of this sea. I check my computer and see 14:15 in one corner, to the left a temperature of 3º, and below our depth in metres – a figure which rises until we reach 22 m deep. We dive with no points of reference and hardly any visibility until we stop 1 m above the rocky sea bed where there is better visibility. Immediately, we find life:  butter fish, scorpion fish, the usual mussels carpeting the rocks, scorpion fish spawn… This mountain is not too large, and once we have circled half of it the bottom time for that depth is over and we decide to rise to 12 m to consume the last litres of air. After 52 minutes in really cold water, with our tanks within the security margin, we get out of the water and board the Hanse again.

Now, while we refill our tanks and rinse our equipment and I write this diary entry, we set sail towards our new destination, closer to Alan Island, for a new ROV and sampling with the dredger and the CTD.