Tuesday 8th June 2010

The sea became unusually calm as we crossed the ridge during the night, leaving behind the North-west station and the whale bone.  On arrival during the early hours a CTD was completed and we moved to release the second mooring, which had been down collecting data for a year.  That again went well in the calm conditions, followed by deployment of  the amphipod trap and the lander.

Anachalypticrinus

We were set for another ROV dive this time attempting to find and record mid-water  animals.  It was clear after the ROV was launched that there was a problem with the camera systems and the dive was aborted for repairs.

However, we are never short of things to do out here so we switched to the Megacorer which was a complete success with a full compliment of tubes full of sediment.  Now the CTD is going up and down for the next 10 hours recording data, at the end of which we hope to return to ROV operations as the engineers are working frantically to rectify the problem.

Coral

It does give us time to recover from the “mushroom” syndrome.  We creep from out dark cabins to the near blackness of the ROV control centre.  Daylight is a rare commodity but not so rare as sunshine.  While the UK basks in fine weather we suffer the grey skies of the mid Altantic.  Do we complain?  No of course not as we are seeing for the first time the mid Atlantic ridge which we have been studying for the past six years and we are making new discoveries.

I have also been photographing some of the animals we have collected from the sea floor including a sea cucumber that swims.

Peniagone - swimming sea cucumber

 

David Shale

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