At last, the ROV is up and running and we plan on working all day with it off two seamounts, one in front of Ondarroa and the other facing the Orio estuary.
We pass by two trawlers, from Gijon and Vigo, on our way to the canyons, working in waters 7 and 10 miles from the coast. This destructive fishing technique seriously damages benthic ecosystems and uses non-selective fishing gear that is detrimental to traditional fishing communities.
We left early to reach the canyons before the wind picked up so we could work comfortably, without the boat moving too much. We reached the Potera Arrechu seamount and surveyed the area but did not find any significant changes in depth. A group of 15 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) appeared directly over the seamount and played with the bow.
Today was a very special day. We didn’t go sailing, but instead, we’ve spent the morning in port, in Getxo, doing some cleaning and maintenance work. In the afternoon, we went up the Bilbao estuary to the maritime museum, escorted by Unai Basurko and his regatta team.
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.