This morning we left the port of Grand Canary at 6:15 a.m. (This is what the sailors told me as I was catching 40 winks at that hour in my cubicle). The plan for the day began with a ROV submersion at about -450 m in Bahía de Gando on the east coast of Grand Canary. It seemed like fun to me; especially at the beginning when we saw two “galludos” (they are sharks but do not scare you) and a pair of Actinoscyphia anemones that we call “flytraps” on board because of their striking similarity to the terrestrial plants of the same name. The coincidence does not end here: Ricardo, the campaign director says that they also hunt their prey in a similar fashion (and if Riki says it, it’s a fact). Farther ahead on the muddy bottom, there was a multitude of wavy dunes that we crossed that reminded me of Playa de Maspalomas but in miniature. Quite odd.
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.
Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 29, 2009
Alberto Brito boarded the Oceana Ranger first thing that morning. Alberto is a zoology and biological oceanography professor at Universidad de La Laguna. A large portion of his research has been focused on studying Canarian marine fauna. 7 Since the expedition began, Alberto got in touch with us and has been giving us his invaluable help to identify corals, gorgonians and fish. It has practically turned into a habit: after the submersions, Ricardo sends him a series of stills of species that both of them manage to identify.
Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 27, 2009
The entire reserve of Roques de Anaga at the north end of the island of Tenerife is made up of two volcanic rock formations in the sea where there are singular animal and plant species. Besides being the place where the only known Gallot's lizard (Gallotia galloti insulanagae) population can be found, it is an important area for birds because 6 different species have been observed to nest there.
It's our last day in El Hierro. Today, we set sail from La Estaca port with Patricia Arranz, a biologist specialised in cetaceans who lives in the beautiful town of El Pinar. I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia a few years ago during one of my annual visits to this amazing island.