On-board Diary: Bañaderos and La Catedral, Grand Canary. October 1, 2009

Author: Jose Peñalver, "Indi"
Date: October 1, 2009



It has been a quiet night. The ship rocked along with the soft sway brought on by anchoring with just the right touch, and without the static and unreal calm of ports or the violent onslaught of the voyages on an angry sea.

Perhaps due to that calm, and the fact that the workday would be shorter, I woke up with the vitality I am not known for. I even seem to remember combing my hair.

The workday was going to be shorter because in the afternoon, there was going to be a new relief: sailors Toni Pérez and Mario Conde were going to be relieved by Nuño Ramos. Nuño had left the ship some weeks ago and was going to return to his duties as the Ranger’s captain (Carlos Pérez had skippered the ship up until then). Conchi de Pedro, who had already worked with Oceana a few years back also relieved them.

So there was no time to lose. We got up a little earlier than usual and headed toward Bahía Bañaderos, on Grand Canary, where we submerged the ROV at a depth of over 600 meters. We saw another kitefish shark (Dalatias licha) there. It is a deep-sea shark that does not usually measure more than a meter and a half. We had the chance to film one for the first time during the previous day’s submersion.

After the ROV submersion, it would be the divers’ turn. At a depth of 37 meters surrounding La Catedral, they were able to photograph and film, among other species, a magnificent stingray (Taeniura gravta) specimen.

We reached Las Palmas at about four p.m., and we fueled up before mooring. A huge backpack with Mario stuck in front of it came out of the ship on the way to the airport. Toni, who lives in Las Palmas, did not have a plane to miss, and his farewell was less stressful.

After Ricardo Aguilar and Ana Torriente visited the Canarian Institute of Marine Science where they interviewed José Antonio González with a PhD in Biological Science and Coordinator of the Fishing biology Group, the Oceana Ranger, with both Oceana scientists as the hosts, received the visit from the representatives of Foro Las Canteras, a Grand Canary citizen’s group that has spent years requesting that a marine reserve be created in the Playa de Las Canteras area. This area’s biodiversity is stunning beneath depths of just seven meters.

And at the end, something light for dinner. Lentils.