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2004 Daily Log

06/20/04 - HD filming & yellow polka dot sponge


Time: 9:08 pm  
Lat: 30° 12.5 min N
Long: 79° 38.7 min W

ship's galley (kitchen and dining room)We knew it was Sunday because we had brunch with quiche, smoked salmon, and stone crab claws; otherwise all of the days of the week blend together. On a ship that conducts research 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the appearance of smoked salmon in the galley is a more reliable indicator of the day of the week than our work schedules or frame of mind.

We steamed through the night to get to our dive sites off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived just in time for the first dive. Even when we are steaming we are collecting data from the ship's fathometer. These depth measurements help us understand what is under the waves as we plow through them.

glass sponge with yellow  polyps attachedThis morning Art Howard was in the bow and Liz Baird in the stern of the submersible. Art is completing filming for the high-definition production which will be premiering in the Museum's auditorium in six to eight months. This morning provided an excellent opportunity for him to film large bushes of Lophelia coral in its deep-water habitat. The dive site was approximately 2400 feet (732 m) deep and had several parallel ridges. Live coral was growing atop mounds of dead coral that were 10 feet high. In addition to filming, the team collected several pieces of coral to be used in aging and DNA studies. They picked up a very large flat glass sponge with anemones growing on it, another delicately folded glass sponge with small yellow polyps attached to it, several urchins, and a small eel.

pencil sea urchinThe sub crew ran another training dive in the afternoon. Alan Brooks rode in the stern and helped coordinate filming and collecting for the dive as a new pilot practiced his skills. The team also collected Lophelia for the aging and DNA work, as well as a pencil urchin and sediment samples.

We learned that a rocket would be launched from Cape Canaveral and just as the sub came up, we spotted the rocket through the clouds. Watching the science of space and the science of the sea in action at the same time created an inspiring display off the ship's starboard side.

06/20/04 - No Data

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