On-board Diary: A show of coral

Author: Ricardo Aguilar - Expedition Coordinator
Date: October 5, 2012



Today we worked east of the Gettysburg seamount. It is here, in the valley between the two underwater mountains that more interesting species often appear (and where we often see cetaceans). The sea is almost flat.

It’s been a long but full day. We conducted dives on small 100-200 meter elevations found on the eastern slope of Gettysburg. In the first, at about 510 meters deep we found a nest of sponges (Pheronema carpenteri) on a detrital sea bottom and hydrocorals (possibly Stylaster sp.) on rocky bottom.

The second dive, to about 400 meters deep was the most spectacular. We found with a sea floor covered with all kinds of sponges, including many lithistidas, several species of gorgonians (Callogorgia verticillata, Viminella flagellum, Nicella granifera, Narella bellissima, etc.), and black corals (Leiopathes sp. Antipathes sp. Cirrhipathes sp.), etc.