Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Seamounts 2007
June 17 - June 24, 2007

June 23, 2007 (Day 7)

Big Sur
The coast of Big Sur.
Jenny writes: This morning dawned windy and choppy (again) and we were still heading north. Diving or even coring at Davidson Seamount as we went by was out of the question. The next backup (to the backup, to the backup, to the backup, etc.) plan was to dive at a site on the wall of Monterey Canyon where Lonny noted that bamboo corals had been seen by the ROV Ventana. This seemed a good plan because it was within the relative shelter of Monterey Bay, but the wind picked back up to 32 knots there, so that plan, also, was nixed. We aren't surrendering yet, however. Now the plan is to wait until tomorrow morning and hope for better conditions. We are now hove-to within sight of Monterey Harbor.

Lonny writes: After being beat-up by the sea for three days, we finally reached the calm of Monterey Bay by early evening. Clear sky, calm seas, and a close-up view of the Monterey Peninsula from the Western Flyer awaited us. We will stay off Monterey for the evening, with the hopes that sea conditions will be calm enough so that we can do several shallow dives in the Monterey Canyon tomorrow. We have selected several dive waypoints that are likely to have large bamboo corals living at depths which are still needed for the project.

Looking out my stateroom window, I watch the sun set behind Monterey and I begin reading my book, The Naturalist, by E.O. Wilson. My mind drifts to the seamount organisms, and I wonder how the communities that we find came to be. I think of the adventure that awaits us with each new day and look forward to tomorrow's dives and a return to the seamounts.

to shore
Two of the crew took the ship's small RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatible Boat) to Monterey for supplies (pastries and a newspaper were among them)!

Our ship track and dives on this cruise (so far): We left Moss Landing Sunday, did ROV dives at Pioneer Seamount Monday and Tuesday, then one at Davidson Wednesday. We transited to two planned dive sites farther south, then had hopes for another in the lee of the Channel Islands, but gave up due to the rough conditions Thursday, and slogged back north for two days to the relative calm of Monterey Bay.

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