Yesterday’s massive swells allowed us to do nothing but grabs…and grabs we made…countless numbers of them!
Waking up this morning, we were excited to see the swells had calmed down enough to launch the ROV. Straight after breakfast the ROV was on its way to the bottom of Gasfonteinen, in Dutch waters. Gasfonteinen is known for pockmark structures.
Pockmarks are made from methane gasses slowly leaking up through the bottom, creating dips in the seafloor, as the gas pockets deeper in the bottom, are depleted.
Today the weather was very rough. Strong winds made sea conditions very unfavorable for just about anything we did. Off shore the waves reached three meters making ROV dives impossible. We decided to stay closer to shore and hide behind small rocky islands for calmer conditions. That made acceptable conditions for scuba dives.
Rarely does an expedition run without mishaps or technical failures and our first technical failure happened in the first week. After several successful dives with our CTD - a device capable of measuring water temperature, salinity, pH, depth, oxygen, depth and chlorophyll - it suddenly stopped working. We attempted to get it running again while at sea, with technical support from the manufacturer in the UK, but with no luck. The decision was made to bring it back to the manufacturer for repair when the Neptune was at dock in Grimsby.