11/01/05 - Jacksonville Banks
The seas finally calmed enough to explore the northern Jacksonville Banks site in the Johnson-Sea-Link. In the sub were Dr. Murray Roberts and Tara Cassaza. They collected many different species of coral, including Lophelia, bamboo coral, black coral, and several unusual soft corals. Their catch also included a shrimp measuring about 5 inches, a medium-sized octopus, several small crabs, hydroids, and sponges.
As soon as the sub was back on board, we steamed towards the southern Jacksonville Banks dive site for an afternoon sub launch.
The afternoon launch was successful as well. In the sub were Dr. Martha Nizinski and Colleen Young. It was Colleen's first dive and she loved it. She exited the sub wide-eyed and awestruck just like Doni and MT had a few days before. Martha and Colleen collected several different crabs, glass sponges, Lophelia, some solitary corals, and hydroids.
As soon as the sub hit the deck, Captain Ralph started steaming towards the Cape Canaveral sites, approximately 12 hours away. We plan to arrive by 7:00 am and hope to get two sub dives in before foul weather sets in. As has been the case for the second half of this mission, we are once again racing the skies and the swells.
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