On-board Diary: Seco de Palos (day 2)

Author: Ricardo Aguilar
Date: July 19, 2007



Today we are really sweating. It’s the hottest day since we began the expedition. But at least the sea is calm and this makes our work much easier.

We continue to work with the ROV in the Seco de Palos. We find remnants of fishing tackle every 20 meters; lines, hooks, nets, etc.

We’re taking advantage of the day and that’s why we woke up even earlier today, in order to get to Cabo de Palo early and make some crew changes.

After three dives at between 100 and 180 meters, now it's time to study the tapes patiently and identify the species.

We were surprised to find some deep-sea corals from the Guyniidae family at approximately 155 meters depth. We have also spotted various ray eggs, some greater forkbeards (Phycis phycis) and what we had at first thought were forkbeards but seem to be deep-sea gadellas (Gadella maraldi). Not to mention the bright dragonets (Synchiropus phaeton). We still have a lot of material to review, but I’m sure we’ll find more surprises, such as the bright-colored nudibranchs we found laying eggs on a gorgonian.

On the way back, it seems like the swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are having a party. We spotted a couple of them taking spectacular leaps out of the water less than 10 miles from Cabo Palos. Later, a group of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) pass right by us.