On-board Diary: The Basque Country
Author: Ana de la Torriente
Date: July 15, 2008
We depart early from Getxo to carry out two dives with the divers, one north of the Villano Islote and another off the Culebra seamount, located on the Meñacoz coast.
We have been very lucky with the weather, so far. Sunny days and slight winds have allowed us to work comfortably.
On the Villano Islote, atop a rocky seabed, we find anemones (Aiptasia mutabilis), groups of nudibranchs (Hipselodoris tricolor), various sea slugs (vaquitas suizas ) and Eudendrium hydrozoans, off which various species of nudibranchs are feeding.
We also find areas with presence of invasive sargasso (from the Sargassum family) that comes from Japan and, little by little, is colonizing the Cantabrian coast.
Off the Culebra seamount, the seabed was rocky with presence of small algae, mainly from the Ulva family. The rocks were covered by calcareous worms (Pomatoceros triqueter), and sand gobies (Pomatoschistus family) and nudibranchs (Doriopsilla aerolata and Hypselodoris cantabrica) were found atop the areas covered by gravel.
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