08/06/02 - Research begins
On Tuesday, we woke to beautiful weather. The seas were much calmer than they had been on Monday. The first sub dive started about 10:00 am. The scientists were targeting a spot where they expected to find plenty of fish, but this was not the case. The videotapes showed a flat, sandy bottom with little relief. The specimens we collected were very sparse, although they were still interesting. Anything we can learn about the seafloor is important, because very little of it has been mapped worldwide.
After lunch (homemade pizza), the sub went back down to an area that included more rocks and fish. The research team found a greater diversity of species on the second dive. They brought back an enormous red starfish that was so big it could not fit in a five-gallon bucket! Luckily, we had a huge zip-top plastic bag to put it in.
In between sub dives, we put out four Neuston Nets (see research data log) with limited success.
Dinner was beef stroganoff, followed by ice cream for dessert. After dinner, the first night watch put two Otter Trawls in the water, but the rough seas meant that all other sampling operations were stopped.
Today we have spent a good deal of time filming the rough seas and planning how we can use the knowledge we have gained so far. Some folks used this opportunity to catch up on their sleep. We are heading west and hoping to get to a calmer area where we can put nets in the water and perhaps send down the sub. Although research looks easy on television, we have found that it is not always as smooth as it appears.
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