On-board Diary: Cabezo la Vaca y Cabo Quejo

Author: Ana de la Torriente
Date: July 9, 2008



Finally the sea offered us a beautiful calm day, so we planned two dives with deep-sea divers, un under Cabezo la Vaca and the other at Cabo Quejo.

In the first dive, at less than 1 nautical mile from shore, to the west of Cabo Mayor, the rocky bottom was covered by algae, mainly of the genera Gelidium and Cystoseira. On the rocky cornices, we found anemones of the genus Aiptasia and in the areas with crevices and caves, sponges of the genera Cliona and Pachymatisma and fishes such as black scorpionfish Scorpaena porcus, flatfish Trisopterus luscus, and conger eels Conger conger.

At Cabo Quejo, to the east of Punta Cueva Colina, the rocky bottom with numerous caves and crevices was covered by sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus sandaled anemones Actinothoe sphyrodeta. We also found feather duster worms Sabella spallanzani and the flatworm Yungia cf. Aurantiaca.

The overwhelming abundance of sporophytes Falkenbergia rufulanosa was amazing, both on the sea bottom and floating in the water. We are talking about the Asparragopsis armata sporophyte, a species of macrophyte native to Australia and New Zealand that has been introduced in European waters that became an invading species.

The area was also covered with other species of algae of the genera Codium, Cystoseira, Laminaria, Ulva and Gelidium.