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Blog Posts by: Brais Lorenzo

Three-bladed titans greeted us as the day broke. The huge air generators on the horizon provide electricity to a civilization that has started to feel very far from us after nine days at sea which, after treating us well for the last month or so, has started to show its true colours./p>

Today started out not so good, with strong winds and quite a lot of waves. So it was not possible to deploy the ROV in the morning so we did some grabs and CTD here and there. Later in the day there was less wind so we tried to do a ROV and that gave some good results. But OK, enough about ROVs, grabs and CTDs. I’d like to talk about another subject what is aswell important on board. And that is comunication with home on board a ship. When I started sailing, about 30 years ago now, there was no internet, no mobile phones, no wifi, no satelitte communication.

The first thing I want to do is say thank you to my fellow crew members for the sweet surprised they prepared for me the other day on my birthday.

I feel really lucky to be here for several reasons, but one of them has to be because of the great atmosphere here on board with all the crew - you’re all cool!

We kicked off the day with amazing weather. It’s been sunny and the sea conditions have been perfect to go scuba diving.

Back in the 90s, there was a TV show I used to love as a kid. Being here in the North Sea, on this marine conservation expedition, has brought back such vivid childhood memories of watching it. Each new adventure in the cartoon series Captain Planet encouraged us to understand and look after planet Earth and those messages are just as relevant now as they were back then.

This is my second year working for Oceana and also my second year in the North Sea. I am part of to the ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) team.

Our job here is quite interesting and has nothing to do with the jobs I have been doing before. Working, and at the same time taking care of the oceans, is a privilege that really makes you feel fantastic.

As you’ll know by now, we are a huge team made up of divers, biologists, sailors, photographers, underwater video specialists and more but we have come together as a team and atmosphere on board is very nice.

Today we woke up to a beautiful day in the northernmost corner of Danish waters. This is my first expedition with Oceana and I am excited to uncover what lies beneath the surface.

Working as a marine biologist on board the Neptune is hard but rewarding work. You would expect that getting covered in mud while gathering data would get you down but for me, it is refreshing and exciting compared to working in the office (The Neptune also has an unlimited supply of fresh coffee, which helps to raise our spirits).

The day rose with a calm sea and blue sky. I thought that was a sign of good omen for today’s dives in the deepest part of the areas we’re exploring in Denmark. But it wasn’t.

The winch that operates the ballast on the underwater robot (ROV) got out of bed on the wrong side this morning: it didn't want to move, despite all the efforts of our mechanics on board. So we changed the winch and then it was the pulley on the main cable that got stroppy with us.

First I would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Jordi! We hope you enjoyed the cake!

After a nice couple of relaxing days off at Hirtshals, Denmark, we are back to work (unfortunately the good weather didn’t follow us). Besides stuffing our faces with cake, we managed to deploy the ROV twice, get some grab samples and the divers went out.

Today we’re moored in the port of Hirsthals, enjoying a day off after the Norwegian leg of the expedition. We’re half way through the expedition so now is a good time as ever to stop and check over all the work done so far, and to take stock of everything we have seen, documented, explored and labeled.

The weather has been, so far, on our side – allowing us to get some good work done and making the first half of the expedition really productive – I just hope it stays that way until the end!

Research expeditions at Oceana are composed of several elements that help collect, identify and document marine communities living on the ocean floor. One method that covers all of these elements is grab sampling which is typically used during Oceana’s expeditions. Although for a non-scientist, grab sampling can give an impression of “playing with the mud,” it is in fact another way of how we study the sea floor. You would be surprised how rich marine life is here; you could find: shells, worms, sponges, brittle stars, sea urchins and many more.

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