Today we continued with our survey dive (dive 91) over the southeast of the AVR. We also planned the next dive. Tim and Kay will need time after dive 91 to process the swath data and produce a map. It makes sense to wait for them to do this before we plan a dive in the same area, so instead we have decided to do a surveying dive on the Western AVR flank, which is currently slightly underrepresented in the dives we have done.
As surveying dives don’t require the whole watch to be in the ROV van all the time, this dive has also allowed us to catch up with sample processing. Pedro has been busy with the rock saw most of the day while it has been all hands on deck (including Kirsty’s biology hands) to chip glass and describe our newest rock samples.
On the biology side, Kirsty had still been having problems with her coral samples getting damaged, simply because they were so fragile that when they bumped together inside the biobox they knocked bits off each other. Maurice had the inspired idea of cutting up a core tube into short lengths and putting those into the biobox to provide separate compartments that individual corals can be put into and which will hopefully protect them from damage. We’re looking forward to trying this out on the next dive, which we are due to launch tomorrow morning.
Kirsty poses with some of the corals we have already collected.