Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Seamounts 2007
June 17 - June 24, 2007

June 21, 2007 (Day 5)
bamboo coral
Looking down at a bamboo coral Keratoisis sp. from yesterday's dive at Davidson Seamount. The red laser dots are 29cm apart for scale.

bamboo coral
Closeup of bamboo coral polyps.

Jenny writes: You can run but you cannot hide. We were blown out today, and now we are trying to find somewhere in the NE Pacific that is pacific.

It is gorgeous and sunny out but the wind is blowing more than 25 knots and the seas are building. The 96 hour forecast is for winds to 40 knots off Southern California, and it isn't much different for the entire NE Pacific. It is hot, hot, hot inland and there is a high farther offshore, so this weather pattern is likely to be stable and not just blowing through.

We transited overnight from Davidson to our dive site on the northern Patton Escarpment. We sailed downwind and with the swell, so the ride was very comfortable. At dawn it was decided that we couldn't dive at Patton, so we continued to Rodriguez Seamount with the faint hope that the conditions would be better. They weren't. We then ran east to the lee of Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands, where the scant bathymetric data for the area indicates that there is a wall at the right depth range for the corals, but it wasn't sheltered at all. We are now slogging north again. There is simply no point in desperately going farther south only to have to beat our way north to be home in time for the MBARI Open House on June 30. If, on our way north, we can dive at Patton, or Davidson, or take another gravity core at Davidson, or retreat to Monterey Bay where we know there are some bamboo corals, we will do so.

The highlight of the day was the triple chocolate cake with raspberry sauce to celebrate Kathie's 39th birthday!

Here are some photos that didn't quite make it into the logbook yet.

Unidentified white sponge being picked over by a lithodid crab.

samping a rock
Sampling a piece of lava with the manipulator arm of the ROV.
control room
The control room of the Western Flyer during
the dive. The ROV pilots are in the foreground.
The others are members of the science party, observing the dive through the eyes of the ROV's video cameras on the monitors around
the room, and performing camera control, video annotations and tape management, real-time GIS, and old-fashioned note-taking tasks.

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