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Blog Posts by: Braís Lorenzo

Eolo greeted us in the morning, creating a beautiful landscape with the blue sky, the steep Aeolian coast, and the white waves contrasting against the sea.

Today wasn’t a day for the ROV but it was for diving. My fellow divers spent their time searching for the best photo and the much-desired video and had my attentive envy from the boat.

Another time zone, another UTM zone, and the circle closes. Numerous X mark the zones already conquered. The last stronghold is Newcastle: the siege begins.

The multi-beam gives us intel about the terrain. A flat zone, muddy, no rocks or slopes that would indicate something of interest. The scientists confirm the substrate and the type of local life with a few forays with the grab.

The weather makes it prudent to postpone the main observation attack with the ROV. Today it stays on deck, patiently waiting its turn.

 

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>

Sometimes you take a dive in fresh water, other times in salt water. Today, the ROV had to dive in water with gas. These are small areas that turn out to have gaseous activity below the seafloor; this gas sometimes breaks through the surface in a big soap bubble (at least that’s how I imagine it).

As luck would have it, today not only were we able to dive in these areas but we also came across not one, but two “northern dogfish”. For biology beginners, like me, these are fish with very big mouths, menacing, the kind that like to hide beneath rocks.

The day began hot and noisy. The maze which is the steampunk, the boat that has been my home during this last month, greeted me with blasts of hot air and a hellish roar coming from the engine room.

In the work area the atmosphere was cooler and summery, and the Mediterranean was as flat as a plate glass window. The Lebanese coast was beautiful and Tripoli rose majestically in the east. We launched the ROV.

With three quarters of the journey done, it’s a weird thing just looking back at the past month. You might remember things differently than other crew members. You notice some slight changes that have been happening slowly. But will never know when they started.

After the nice and comfortable depths of Norway, our current location is the Jutland Bank, a place that was witness to the biggest naval battle in history. I can’t help but wonder how many interesting things are below you when you are cruising - things that will remain hidden for many more years to come.

An early morning robotic dive, even when we are past the half-point on this campaign, each day is unique. The weather forecast is never reassuring, for it is always at the border of being unfeasible.

At noon, the divers go under Norwegian waters. Such is their devotion to the cause that even after doing their allotted time underwater, they spend their time chasing some playful seals on the surface. Playful because they let enough distance from humans to be seen, but not to be touched.

Here, you watch a guy throw a Grab at the water, and bring up Mud.

Down you can see how 4 Teletubbies wash up that mud, pick up the itty-bitty pieces that stay through the mesh and put them carefully in Little labeled plastic containers.

Middle-level, you notice a Smart guy (must be a scientist) looking at those itty-bitty pieces through a microscope.

Right (or Starboard) Three dry-suits inhabited by men get their cameras ready to take some cool-ass videos and photos

Up, a lonely Jack Get things down and up again.

Today we had the opportunity to look into a different setting than we were previously used to - wreckages! Sunken iron colossi that, without it being their original purpose, ended up as a home to some creatures in the North sea.

Won´t tell you what I did today. Today is a filler episode!

öresund/øresund/The sound/[œrəˈsɵnːd]/Whatever is not treating us as gently as we would like. Plenty of knots in the wind, loads of metres/second underwater and some waves that try their hardest to make the fragile lens of the camera meet the ship’s hull.

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