DAY 16 – Frank

Another stupidly long and hot day today, moan, moan, moan.

We brought in all the gear from 6200m and most of it was perfect.

 

‘Cusks’ and ‘pouts’ doing their thang at 6200m deep in the New Hebrides Trench.

‘Cusks’ and ‘pouts’ doing their thang at 6200m deep in the New Hebrides Trench.

I am still being plagued by technical issues on the hadal-lander, in that it seems to have evolved a mind of its own.  I am all for artificial technology and such, but in this instance I would prefer the lander to do exactly what it is told.

 

Anyway, there are loads of zoarcids at 6200m, which is a new find.  These eel pouts have never been seen this deep before anywhere.  The amphipod catch was good too, we are starting to pick up the hadal generas and they are much larger than we anticipated.  Amongst them all we are few that I don’t recognise, so there may be a few wee gems in there too.

 

Due to many reasons, most of which I simply can’t be bothered to explain, we went shallow today.  It pains me to have to stoop so low as to shoot the gear to a pathetic 3500m but we do need the shallow end of the depth range to make things comparable with what we have done elsewhere.

 

We deployed everything to 3500m, including the new lander we built yesterday.  It started the day called ‘FrankenTrap’ which later evolved into ‘Frank Trappa’.  A worthy name for a fish trap if there ever was one.

 

So off the popped, down to sickeningly shallow 3500m.

 

Besides my moaning about the depth, these shallow ones are becoming ever more important as the communities we have seen so far are more or less unchanged between 4100 and 6200m, which is very odd indeed.  Also, of the 6000 or so images we’ve taken so far, we have seen a single macrourid or any of the New Zealand usual suspects we see down there.  So on the whole – ‘here is different to there, because there isn’t the same as here’, and that’s science in a nutshell.

 

Alan – 20th November.

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