When I came into the main lab this morning with my computer and my coffee cup, I was greeted with: “Good morning! the ROV is out of action for the moment”. Fortunately, there is always a Plan B for every day. Instead of doing a dive to collect benthic animals with the ROV, we started the day by recovering the landers that have been sitting on the sea floor since yesterday morning. One of the landers recovered is the amphipod trap, a lander baited with fish to attract small crustaceans.
Once the amphipod trap is back onboard Grant Duffy is left with a lot to do, collecting all the amphipods caught in the trap that came to feed on the fish bait during the previous 24 hours when the amphipod trap was sitting on the sea floor. There was a good catch this time, with several hundred small amphipods turning up for the fish feast.
In the afternoon we got some welcome news, the ROV technicians had managed to get Isis ready for a dive. Following deployment the ROV descended very slowly to the sea bed to allow Marsh the opportunity to study planktonic animals (animals that live in the water column). We were lucky to witness some beautiful medusa, a siphonophore and a couple of appendicularians before the ROV reached the sea floor. On arrival at the seafloor the mission of the dive was to take high resolution photographs and collect animals f0r voucher specimens. The plan for tomorrow is to continue with video transects where the ROV will fly approximately two metres above the seafloor recording high definition video footage. The photographs and voucher specimens from today will serve as an aid in identifying the organisms that show up on the video.