In the end, the ROV rupture was more complex than we had thought. That is why we were not able to go out last night toward the mountains as we had planned. Many hours have been necessary to solve numerous failures that have been coming up as different parts of the ROV were checked. They have practically completely taken it apart and checked each one of its components like cameras, plates, cables and connectors.
We continued in the port of Palma awaiting the technician who will fix, we hope, the robot. It seems like Groundhog Day because in Cartagena we were in a very, very similar situation, waiting for Monday for the part that would allow us to keep working to arrive. Besides, since we reached Palma, for those of us who do not dive, every day is the same. We repeat the same day every day here, in front of the computer.
The several hours that pilot Pitu and copilot Fleta spent changing ROV parts were definitely in vain. Today, it broke down again right when we reached a seabed that promised wonders (we almost fell on top of a deepwater shark, possibly Centrophorus sp.), and we were only able to find the solution by returning to land and awaiting the arrival of the specialized technician who came from England to Palma.
Tonight, we will sleep lying a-hull above Ses Olives, the underwater elevation that we are researching. Oceana is requesting protection of this singular spot given its importance as a hot spot for marine life here in the Channel of Majorca.
Every so often, sea expeditions require a day off for rest. This is always welcomed by the crew, especially if it coincides with our arrival on Formentera. We are at the Formentera Marina at a small port next to s´Estany des Peix, a small bay in the midst of SCI Ses Salines d'Eivissa i Formentera. The area forms a part of Natura 2000 Network due to the major Posidonia prairies it shelters.
Today we head along the path to two underwater mountains located in the Ibiza canal between Valencia and the Balearic archipelago. This is a practically unknown zone, as nothing more than its geologic features are known. As they do note even have registered names, we called them the Nao Mound, located in front of Cabo de Nao, and Morron de Formentera, located about 20 min from this island.
Today we had dived with IEO Murcia personnel, who have taken us to the Reserva Marina Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas [Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve] to photograph the invasive algae Caulerpa racemosa upon the rhodolith bed.