DAY 14 – Station 13

Today sucked.  It was a bad day. Today was nothing less than a constellation of bovine poodust.

 

The day started off standing over Ryan who was spread eagled over the mess room floor at 0400 desperately trying to cool down. Days never start well with seeing Ryan in his underpants.

 

We released Latis at 0500 to no avail.  All comms were working fine but the little fella wouldn’t budge.  To cut a long story short, Latis is dead.  The ‘bringer of snailfish’ and the ‘slayer of supergiants’ is no more.  Sad and highly inconvenient but no great financial loss.  We have plan B’s in line for such an event.  Still, I am very sorry to see the wee hunk of junk go, it produced some of the greatest results.

 

Shortly after that the Abyssal lander surfaced and despite having taken over 600 images, one of the cells in the battery blew at depth, which is not a show-stopper but does decrease our power capacity.

 

The most frustrating thing was the Hadal-Lander failed again.  I ended up spending hours in the hot-box lab frantically trying to locate the problem which I now I think I may or may not have resolved without even a whiff of certainty on both counts.

 

The big eel that has been eluding us for so long, but not anymore.

The big eel that has been eluding us for so long, but not anymore.

The good thing was that in the fish trap we finally caught a large eel we have been after since 2009.  There is a big synaphobranchid eel that has been giving us the slip since we first came here.  It features in hundreds of images and dances for the video camera but nobody knows what it is.  Now we have one to settle the issue.

 

The curious thing about the eel is that it appears to match the description of Histiobranchus bathybius which only lives in the North Atlantic, which is about 4 light years from here. It’ll need to be x-rayed when we get back to confirm exactly what it is.

 

So with that and a good set of images, today was a mixed bag.  But generally it felt a lot like trying to take your own life with a rusty claw hammer.

 

Without further ado, we shot everything back into the slop but this time to 6200m.  But wait you say…how can you put Abyssal lander to 6200m when it is only rated to 6000m.  Have-a-go-heroes my friends, have-a-go-heroes.

 

Alan – 18th November

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