10/31/05 - Back to Savanna
Happy Halloween from the waters off of Jacksonville, Florida! The weather was giving us more tricks than treats Monday morning. We hovered over our dive site off the coast of Florida but the waves were high and frequent, so again we waited. Before too long, the decision was made to head back to Savannah Banks for a chance to dive in the afternoon. The scientists on board have lost so many dives due to bad weather that any chance to get the sub down was a chance worth taking.
Seven hours later and once again off the shores of Savanna, Georgia, we were able to get a short dive in the afternoon. The dive left later that usual, and then was brought up early due to increased wind and waves. Despite the short time down, several exciting specimens were collected during the dive. Among the day's catch were a goosefish, a blind lantern ray, several coral samples, a tiny sea urchin, and several species of sea stars.
The goosefish is a bottom dwelling, carnivorous fish, which uses a lure located above its mouth to attract prey. When the prey comes to investigate the lure, the goosefish lunges and engulfs it with its huge mouth.
The blind lantern ray, also called the blind torpedo, has eyes that are covered over with skin. Although this ray cannot see, it is thought that it can detect light. Blind lantern rays range from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and Cuba. It feeds on crustaceans and small fishes.
As soon as the sub was back onboard, we started the seven hour trip back to Jacksonville on the chance that the seas will be calm enough for a dive Tuesday morning.
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