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Blog Posts by: Ricardo Aguilar

Spectacular. Today we worked with the divers east of Na Redona to see the transition from here to the more eastern area where we’re working with the ROV. It’s a wall that plunges 25 meters with some areas at just 14 meters, where we see barracudas (Sphyraena sp.), picarels (Spicara spp.) and many other fish. On the sea floor, apart from a few rocks, there is also some Posidonia oceanica.

I say spectacular, however, because of the difference between the two transects we have made with the robot at depths between 60 and 110 meters.

We’ve been taking samples in Emile Baudot. The ROV has gotten hooked twice: once on a rock and again on a longline.

The amount of ropes, fishing lines and nets that are scattered around here is incredible. Towards the south, between 140 and 160 meters depth, there are some large rocks, some of them forming interesting structures, where dozens of remnants of fishing tackle are caught, making it difficult to work with the ROV here.

Yesterday the 26th, we couldn’t sail and had to stay at port in Cabrera. Today we woke up at seven in the morning and sailed towards the south. While the divers explored the area of Los Estells, we did some transects.

This has been an eventful day. When we submerged the ROV, we blew a circuit breaker and all the screens went black. We had to lift the ROV onboard again and start over. Then, our zodiac almost sunk and we've had to suspend the diver's work for this afternoon. The rest of the day was calmer.

At last, we reach this immense canyon south of Menorca. The first dive takes us to a depth of 235 meters, a record for us. As soon as we reach the bottom, we see an anglerfish (Lophius sp.) camouflaged amongst the fine sediment. Soon, the walls of the canyon begin to rise quickly and we come across different sea floors; some covered with large quantities of detritus and others with rocks. Some of these rocks are quite large and are spotted with sponges and some gorgonias.

We will make our last stop in port to load supplies and rest a little, before finishing this year's campaign. At night, we have been carrying out bathymetric measurements of the Cañon de Menorca canyon, where we will be working during the next few days. The profile given by the computer looks very promising. From a platform of 80-90 meters, a pronounced drop begins and reaches over 1,000 meters depth. If the currents and the sea remain calm, the dives here will prove to be very interesting.

The area of the canal of Menorca has a platform of at least 100 meters depth that joins the islands of Mallorca and Menorca, but in the southern section of its slope, it falls to great depths, habouring many extremely interesting ecosystems.

We are going take samples in different areas and depths here in order to find out which species inhabit these ecosystems. We will begin in front of Cala Ratjada cove and Cap de Pera and will slowly head toward the east.

Today, we will take samples with the ROV in two areas within the park. One in the southeast and another in the north. The sea floors are sandy with large concentrations of sand urchins, especially Spatangus purpureus.

Today, we will enter the Cabrera National Park. We have a meeting early this morning with the park rangers in order to exchange information and decide in which areas we are going to work. They were extremely helpful. Many of them have spent various years here and they are very fond of this area. Those of us who have been able to see Cabrera's evolution during the last 25 years feel very happy.

In the end, we had to take shelter for the night in Porto Petro. In the morning, the storm had subsided and we set sail toward Cabrera.

We did 2 transections with the robot in the limits of the Cabrera National Park in order to find out the state of the sea floors in the areas that are not included within the protected area: one in front of Cap Picamoscas and the other southeast of Punta Ancino.