So, we got everything back from 3500m, no problems at all. The beard came off too, without incident.
Frank worked a treat, although there were no fish in it, the invert catch was very good. The reason there was no fish in it is not related to Franks trapping prowess but rather the complete lack of fish species that are readily trapped. Even at 3500m, we are seeing the same thing from as deep as 6200m. Maybe a slightly shift in relative abundance, but all much of the same.
This now means I’ll have to put on a pretty dress and go even shallower, 2000m probably, but not tonight trench fans. To compensate for reluctantly having to go bathyal, today we went hadal. We shot the big hadal-Lander down to 7000m (ish, charts are rubbish round here). This is the deepest spot in this sector of the trench. The Abyssal-Lander and Frank were shot to around 5500m. Happy days.
There is one thing that keeps going round in my head – whose idea was it to bring a 28m long trawler 1000 miles cross the South Fiji Basin in the devastatingly hot tropics, with a bunch of bespoke bits of gear?
I guess that was me. I will deal with myself another time.
Having brunted the storm, lost some gear, turned New Caledonia upside down and shook it for liquid nitrogen, our luck isn’t getting any better. We are running out of all sorts of things fast and are still having technical faults, you know, the ones you can’t reproduce on deck.
Anyway, so far the success rate is 72% out of 27 deployments, which is rather embarrassing. Must do better.
Not much else to report I suppose, it’s all getting a little big ‘groundhog day’. It is probably worth mentioning that we have nice new life jackets specially for this trip. They are not solid sate ones like before, but rather inflatable-on-impact designs. No one has yet accidentally inflated one yet, but Ryan almost certainly will before we’re done. This new design, however, has a safety feature to prevent the jacket slipping over your head when you hit the water. This feature takes the form of two tight crotch straps, which are rather embarrassing and if caught in the wrong posture provide a certain definition, shall we say.
Alan – 21st November