On-board Diary: July 30, 2008
Author: Ana de la Torriente
Date: July 30, 2008
We started the day sighting a group of 3 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), about 7 nautical miles sailing toward Cabo Matxitxako.
It was once again a day of intense work with the Rov. We made the two dives in the same canyon off "Las Palomas" oil rig on a muddy bottom with some scattered rocks.
Among the species documented are yellow coral (Dendrophyllia cornigera), Atlantic bobtails (Sepiola atlantica), European conger (Conger conger), greater forkbeards (Phycis blennoides), sea pens (Pennatula phosphorea), octopi (Eledone cirrhosa), silver pout (Gadiculus argenteus), sponges (Dysidea fragilis, Geodia sp., Phakellia ventilabrum) and sea fans (Eunicella verrucosa, Bebryces sp.). We also noticed the presence of vast areas with an abundance of black coral (Parantipathes larix).
Despite the fact that it is not described in the Bay of Biscay, we once again came across the shark Galeus atlanticus. However, the great find of the day was to be able to document two rabbitfish on the muddy bottom. These are fish that normally dwell in deep water and are generally very difficult to see and record. Rabbitfish, like sharks and skates, are cartilaginous fish. Nevertheless, their appearance is somewhat different as they have a large head and pectoral fins, a spine in front of the first dorsal fin, and their body decreases in thickness until it ends in a filament or whip in the rear.
At 6:30, after several hours of immersion, we took the Rov out of the water and headed for Getxo, the port where we spent the night.