CD179: Deep-sea biology of the Portguese canyons


Daily diary

Saturday 29 April 2006

Xana writes:

"It is midnight and one quarter into the night shift, we are waiting while “the boss” fishes the Agassiz Trawl. Everyone else is busy with paperwok, Dário is already labelling his buckets for the Megacore deployment, while I also label my bottles. While waiting, I also process a frozen core for Jeroen Ingels, by defrosting slightly, to remove it form the tube and put it in aluminium foil. Anyway, there are lots of things to do to catch up with work. I photograph some foraminifera that I hadn’t had time to photograph before, like the lovely Discospirina

Finally the Agassiz Trawl is on board at 4 am and we all gather around it hoping for a catch full of Teresa’s holothurians. Very little is in it, but there are 5 Molpedia for Teresa to have to spend a couple of hours in the CT (Controlled Temperature) lab, while dissecting their guts. At the same time, the Megacorer goes down, for another 9 Mega + 3 Multicores. And we get a successful 12/12 good cores. But… It is time for the day shift to take over, it is 8 am, so they do take over by helping with the cores so we can go and have some rest.

While we sleep, sleep, sleep… the day shift had an unsuccessful Boxcore, but then one successful Piston core and the boxcore goes down again and by the time is up the night shift is up again to help the day shift finishing their work and take over again.

Tonight there was a lovely tubular agglutinated foraminfera lying on the top of the boxcore, I assumed, as the core was too disturbed to be sure. I think they probably live on the seabed surface with at least one of the branches rooted into the sediment, up to 3 cm deep.

It would be good to obtain SHRIMP images of these, but perhaps it is not possible, as SHRIMP cannot be driven so close to the seabed. Speaking of SHRIMP… After boxcoring, we deployed SHRIMP tonight, hoping for good data for Abi’s PhD. And another 24 hours have gone…

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April 2006
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