DAY 13 – Only real men go hadal

Jeeeez.  Up at 0400 again and by 0530 the sun was beating down on the sunburn.

This morning didn’t start well, but it ended well.  Some days are like that.

I started to release the fish trap from 4100m at 0530 only to find that it was already on the surface.  Disaster.  We eventually found it, recovered it and it seems that the ballast had somehow come off and it seemed unlikely it spent anytime on the bottom.  7 out of 9 deployment success rate.

We brought in Latis, complete with large Zoarcid and a good haul of amphipods, followed by the Hadal-Lander and then the Abyssal-Lander, both of which had brought back some great footage.  So we are on a 10/12 success rate now, which is can live with.

Some science:

There is a overwhelming and conspicuous lack of macrourids here.  Where are all the rat-tails?.  The video footage again showed incredible numbers of pennaids (big red shrimp), punctuated by the occasional and rather miserable looking ophidiid (cusk eels) and the odd Zoarcid (eel pout) and synaphobranchid (eel) for good measure.

This area isn’t exactly what we’d been expecting, but it is an interesting result in itself.  Just need to push deeper.  As Ryan said earlier “only real men go hadal”.

The only other thing to mention is that it isn’t getting any cooler.  Thom recorded a jaw dropping 33°C in his bunk above mine last night, so he and Ryan took to sleeping in the mess where there is an air con unit.

This is what working for so long in this heat does to a man.

This is what working for so long in this heat does to a man.

Heather however is always ready and willing to blast anyone down with cold water should the mood take her.

Heather however is always ready and willing to blast anyone down with cold water should the mood take her.

Working ion the lab is also difficult as within 5 minutes there is literally sweat dripping off your nose and combined with the incessant rolling and pitching of the Kaharoa means that it is very difficult to prevent these beads of joy from getting into the electronics.

Anyway, despite all this moaning and sweating and complaining, we turned everything around and shot the whole lot off to 5000m deep.

Alan – 17th November.

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