Wednesday 2nd June 2010

Yesterday’s excitement over the whale bone carried through to the small hours and we were optimistic that today with the weather on our side we would get a lot of work done. The morning was promising and we managed to get 2 mega-cores, an amphipod trap and PAL lander deployments and bring in the moorings.

Megacorer recovery

The two mega-cores were unfortunately not as successful as we would have hoped but the practice of slicing and sieving the samples to look for macrofauna in the sediments should help us in future sites, and burrows in the deeper sediment layers were interesting even though the inhabitant was not home. When the mega-core samples come up they are in clear plastic tubes containing sediment and the overlaying water mass. You can clearly see the different layers of sediments in a core and we were considering keeping the bottom layer of deep sea clay to start our own face mask company, suggestions for product names are more than welcome!

10 cm diameter megacores

10 cm diameter megacores

The new and improved amphipod traps (long gone are the days of a bit of pipe and some chicken wire) were deployed shortly after the collection of the first mega-core. The trap is baited with muslin wrapped mackerel and will stay down for at least 24hrs before being collected brimming with the little creatures (hopefully). So all in all the morning was successful and the scientists, crew and engineers were kept on their toes.

As with all science there was some bad news with the good and the Isis ROV lost power half way through a dive. We continued to receive transmissions but alas it gave up and slowly floated back to the surface and was safely recovered. The ROV team have identified the problem and there will be some down time with the ROV while the engineers work hard to fix it and get Isis back in the water.

Jenga fun

 To console ourselves over the ROV disappointment, a few games of Jenga and an episode of Twin Peaks…. tomorrow it starts again fingers crossed the weather stays with us.

Debbie Crockard

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