On-board Diary: We are not alone

Author: Silvia García
Date: July 18, 2011



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Yesterday there were gusts of wind of up to 40 knots so we stayed in Almerimar.

Today we postponed the departure to midday, so that people could rest in the morning. The reason is that we intend to make a couple of nocturnal immersions in the Chella Bank or Seco de los Olivos, so it is better for people to have rested. The forecasts are good, they say that today will be calm, and that is good because we need the sea to be calm to work at night without adding complications to the task which is per se difficult.

At 17.35 the underwater robot (ROV) is in the water, with the aim of obtaining a sample of a gorgonian that we documented last year together with a deep-sea crab (Bathynectes maravigna). Once on board we will be able to determine the species, because with the images it has not been enough. The dive goes on without problems and we meet our objective, and we also obtain fantastic images of a quite healthy field of the delicate bamboo corals (Isidella elongata), of which we had already documented some specimens here in el seco, but not in the quantity and size we have found today.

As an anecdote for the day, we will mention the visit of the Customs boat, for a second time after only a few days, when we are also, literally surrounded by a family group of more than 50 long-finned pilot whales. So without hardly realising, we have gone from being 13 alone with the sea, to more than 80 individuals in minutes. Who would say that here, at 11 or 12 nautical miles from the coast, at times there is no way of feeling alone.

Lastly, regretfully, the wind picks up again which forces us to stop the dives and we go back to the port.