On-board Diary: First dives in the Gorringe Bank
Author: Ricardo Aguilar - Expedition Coordinator
Date: October 4, 2012
The first ROV immersio was to a sandy detrital bottom at 500 meters deep. There was little diversity. We found many solitary fan corals (Flabellum Chuni), several types of fish, a stripe, urchins, crinoids and many dead mackerels (Scomber japonicus). It looks like they were discards.
On the surface we found a lot of storm-petrels, almost all were Leach’s storm petrels(Oceanodroma leucorhoa), a Manx shearwater seabird (Puffinus Puffinus), a couple of skuas (Stercorarius skua) and a Sabine's gull (Larus Sabini).
We did two more immersions, though they were less deep than the first. We were documenting the summit of the underwater mountain, at -150 and -90 meters, and-as expected, we found black corals at the deeper point and a kelp forest above. Most spectacular were the schools of sand eels that formed different shapes.
At night we lowered a couple of fish pots that the University researchers brought with them, but when we brought them up, we only found hermit crabs inside.