Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 22, 2009
In the morning, the most urgent task was to repair the remote control that stopped working in the Sahara Mountains and build a new ballast. Mónaco called Michel, the technician who worked on French submarines and, after investigating the situation, he decided to install a second control via cable. Now we have two systems installed and this reassures us that we will be able to respond in case of breakdown.
Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 21, 2009
Washing, shopping, hardware store (of course), search for a new ballast and how to repair the winch, and of course of few beers.
Taking advantage of the peace that reigns onboard, we invite Suso Trujillo Rodríguez, Councillor of the Environment in the City Hall of Agüimes . This local government has requested, through plenary agreement, the designation of a Marine Reserve in Arinaga three times (in 1996, 2000 and 2006).
Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 20, 2009
Unfortunately, we weren't able to continue diving off the Sahara seamounts and we are now on our way to Grand Canary.
As we all know, the trip to Mogán will take two days, so we quickly man our stations. Like always, some disappear, others work on their videos and photographs and small groups gather both on deck and inside to share a cigarette or chat. Meanwhile, Indi and Ricardo, binoculars in hand, go on deck in search of birds and cetaceans.
The sun comes up during my shift on the Oceana Ranger, on the east, and before the light begins to shine, Venus peeks out over the horizon, the morning star. I prepare the camera to film the daybreak despite the rocking seas, but the new day has a surprise in store for me; I see “horns” on the horizon: it’s the moon that apparently fell asleep and has to hurry so the sun doesn't catch up with it.
Author: Ana de la Torriente Date: September 17, 2009
We reached the Sahara Mountains around noon. Up to now, most of the people on board had disappeared. Some went off to read, or watch movies while others downloaded and classified their photographs or worked on video footage. Ricardo clung to the binoculars expecting to sight birds or cetaceans while Indi raced from the deck to the kitchen, identifying red-billed tropicbirds (Phaeton aethereus) while preparing lunch.
Author: Jose Peñalver, Indi Date: September 16, 2009
This morning we set sail from La Restinga on the island of El Hierro, quite a bit later than the time we usually do when we leave the harbor. The reason for this was that we had to refuel both the Ranger’s tanks and the 20 liter canisters used to supply the ROV’s generators and the oceanographic winch.
For those who don’t know, La Restinga is a small group of houses arranged in a grid with a density of scuba diving centers per inhabitant not easily surpassed elsewhere. For those who know as well.
Today we awoke off of “La Restinga” at the extreme south of Hierro Island. As soon as we arrived, we concentrated on performing the first bathymetry to locate the spots where Ricardo wanted the ROV submersion. After locating them, I left the ship to Pairo to study the abatement and decide which will be the best strategy of the transect that interest the campaigns.
Today we had the chance to dive within the La Palma Marine Reserve. After processing the relevant permits, we obtained authorization to dive. Once there, the first thing we did was contact Tamia Brito, the marine reserve’s technician and coordinator. While we divers were diving between Punta del Hombre and Punta Resbaladera, Tamia was aboard the Ranger, learning about our work and giving us advice on the best spots within the reserve and the differences between them.
Today we set sail at dawn from the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma toward the southern part of the island. Today’s plan is to do two dives with divers and one with the ROV off the Fuencaliente lighthouse.
Today is a special day aboard the Oceana Ranger. It is our first contact with La Palma and we also have guests. We have been paid a visit by Marta Madina, communications director for Oceana Europe and Carlos, a journalist for XL Semanal magazine who will write an article about the campaign. We received our guests, and after the introductions de rigueur in a cordial setting, we steered our course toward Punta Cumplida.