CD 166: Investigating the underwater avalanches offshore Morocco


Daily diary

Sunday October 31st 2004

Aggie writes:

"Before I went to sleep to get some rest for my 2am-2pm shift, it seemed that everything was going OK. But when we started our shift we found that one core had come out horribly bent. At the same site a second core came out bent at a right angle! This happens when the corer hits a hard seabed, and is a big problem as it means the core barrel is no longer usable, especially as we only have about ten barrels of the size we want on board! After that there wasn’t much work done, as the piston was stuck in the barrel and it’s quite a task getting it out. The decision was taken to move on to another site, since it was perfectly clear that the seafloor here was covered in hard sand. While all this was going on a little visitor landed on deck, a Leach’s Storm-petrel, probably dazzled by all our lights on deck. We let it rest in a shoebox until daylight and then let it fly away. It looked very eager to leave us - too many eyes and cameras on it. We keep seeing a lot of seabirds, Russell is the expert on identifying them, so every time we see one, we just go and fetch him. He keeps a log of the wildlife we see. Unfortunately no dolphins yet..."

Russell takes an early shower while
hosing down a muddy core barrel.

A Leach’s Storm-petrel…just like it says in the book! This bird was probably on southward migration from its breeding grounds in the UK.

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October 2004
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