Morning rendezvous. Photo: D. Shale
Paraliparis bathybius caught in the bottom trawl. Photo: D. Shale
Date:10 July, 2004
Author: Andrey Gebruk (P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russia), Tom Sørnes (Univ. Bergen, Norway)
Today was one of those days when only the calendar can remind you (after some brain efforts) which day of the week and date it is now. We are in the middle of our work in the ‘Southern Box’ when life on board is arranged by arrival of a new material that we are desperately looking for.
The day began with a night work on the trawl from the so far shallowest station (about 1700 m) on this leg. From few glimpses at the ocean seabed that we saw on the terminated ROV Aglantha dive yesterday at this station, we realized that trawling in this area of rough rocky bottom would be difficult. However, the catch was good and quite different from the previous two deeper trawls. Among most numerous organisms were solitary madreporarian corals resembling garden flowers. Various deep-sea red shrimps living in the water column close to the bottom were also abundant. This was not like the two previous trawls with many-many holothurians.
Of course, most of the expectations for today were about trawling in the deep axial part of the mid-Atlantic Ridge. Unfortunately, this trawl was unsuccessful, it came with the cod-end torn off. As the trawl video showed, the trawl most likely hit a rock outcrop on the mound that appeared suddenly toward the end of the tow path.
The longliner MS Loran, operating in collaboration with us stopped by this morning, receiving important information on bottom structure before heading further north. It was a pleasant, but possibly awakening surprise (for those still in bed), as they passed us with the ship’s horn roaring at full strength.