CD179: Deep-sea biology of the Portguese canyons


Daily diary

Friday 5 May 2006

Dario writes:

"2 megacorers, 1 amphipod trap and 3 piston corers summed up another day full of activity onboard RRS Charles Darwin. This was our last day in the Setúbal canyon. We are now looking forward to sailing to the Nazaré canyon for further work at sea. The weather has been as expected for the season and during the free time some of our colleagues are taking the opportunity to improve their tan!

We sometimes lose the notion of the time when we are at sea. The variety of tasty food available and presented in such different ways gives us the feeling that we are traveling across the entire world and not only in Portugal onboard a UK ship!

The second part of the cruise is promising to be successful. However, the nature of the canyons is always unpredictable owing to the strong currents that are commonly found close to the bottom. Although the megacorer has been successful in terms of sampling, we just got samples of the first 10 cm of the sediment bottom. The different characteristics of the bottom and the fact they we are sampling deeper have probably changed the efficiency of the megacorer.

The amphipod trap bait has attracted a considerable number of amphipods. Actually the amphipods seemed to be ‘reproducing’…since every time we checked the mesh for cleaning we got more and more amphipods…they were everywhere and for sure there will be a plenty for a focused study of their role in the canyons. Doug and Raquel are still very happy since this was a successful piston corer day.

The night watch (Ben, Xana, Emily, Nina and Teresa) had a ‘samba’ dancing experience coordinated by Teresa… during the break of course…between the two megacorers!"


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April 2006
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