The last days have been calm and mild, and today the sun has peeked through the clouds again. The temperature today is also in the better range, and the northern girls have jumped into their shorts and t-shirts, and we are washing the mud-splashing grabs in bare legs and rubber boots – just like being kids again. Away from the grabs, and inside sheltered from the sun, we sat glued to the screen, watching endless fields of muddy sand, looking for life on the bottom.
The weather the last few weeks has been rough, but that is to be expected in these Nordic seas. It has been a bit of a challenge for the ROV pilots, but for the "happy grabbers" it has been heaven. Every time the waves, or the current, have been too strong for the ROV to be deployed, or just for the fun of it, we made a grab. So, into the "Oompa Loompa" pants, water in the hose, and the meshes ready - washing grabs it is.
Yesterday night the crew from Panthalassa, including the model Almudena Fernandez and the surfer Aritz Aranburu, embarked Neptune with all their cameras, gear and surfboards. Being on a movie set was what it felt like being on board Neptune today. Everywhere you went there were cameras, and pretty people.
Where the sky ends, the ocean begins. This is where we are. We arrived at the Devil’s Hole yesterday in calm weather, but we woke up this morning with the sky wrapped in low grey clouds. There is nothing to break the horizon - no ships, no platforms, no land. It seems like we are as far from everything as you can get - an island floating freely in the great cold nothing. Such isolation might seem daunting but when you’re undertaking your life passion surrounded by friendly and enthusiastic colleagues, it’s not a concern.
Today we moved to British waters and to the more sandy part of the Cleaver Bank. We had three successful ROV trips to the banks. We saw the nice side of the ocean floor - beautiful ripples, and a few scattered stones. The areas were full of life with, for example, dragonets, weeverfish, hermit crabs, Ross corals (not a real coral but a bryozoan one), starfish and plenty of flat fish.
The most comprehensive scientific study of EU fisheries ever. Led by renowned fisheries expert Dr. Rainer Froese for Oceana.