Finally, the ROV technicians couldn’t solve the problem and decided the best option was to take it to Barcelona, because it would be easier to solve technical problems there. Joan and Manuel left with the ROV and we continued our work with the divers in shallow waters.
We started the day with a dive off the Callejos de Bamboa seamount atop large blocks of rock on a sandy-muddy seabed.
We returned to Sonabia in order to document the sea floors in that area. We carried out the first dive off Cotonera Island, in front of Islares, where there are various rock formations atop a sandy seabed. The top part of the rock formations was covered in Cystoseira algae and we found other species on the rocky walls, including Berthella sp., Echinaster sepositus, Hypselodoris tricolor and Alcyonium glomeratum.
We say goodbye to Santander under cloudy skies and set sail towards our next port, Castro Urdiales.
During the first dive, off the Morcejonera rock in front of Ris beach, the flat seabed was comprised of sand and small rocks. The rocky area was covered with Cystoseira algae. We also spot some areas covered with Gelidium algae.
On the overhangs, we find different species of sponges and the sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus. Amongst the fish species, there were conger eels (Conger conger) and Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta).
We took advantage of the lack of wind and calm day and made two dives near the shore.
In the first dive, at Bajo El Doble or Ganzanilla off De Berria beach, we found a sea bottom with rocks at different elevations and overhangs where the great majority of the rock is covered by some calcareous reds.
After two days waiting in Santander without having been able to dive at all, everyone on board is anxious to dive and document the sea bottom. However, working conditions outside the bay continue to be unsuitable.
Joan and Manuel continue working to solve the ROV’s problems, but for now, we still can’t document deep seabeds.
Since the weather conditions outside the bay do not allow the divers to work, we stay in port and carry out some maintenance work on the equipment.
Pablo López, a biologist who works in the Santander Marine Museum, let us know that a grey seal (Halichoerus gripus) had entered the bay and was resting on a ramp at the Marina del Cantábrico, so we took the small boat and headed over to the port to photograph and document it.
Although the morning was completely clouded over, with winds from the N-NW, we carried out two dives with the ROV at two seamounts off the Galizano coast: La Maruca and El Castro seamounts, areas where artisanal fisheries have traditionally operated.