Friday, 2 November 2012

Trick or treat on the high seas

Halloween marks the continuation of sidescan sonar work in a south-western strip of the Wyville-Thomson Ridge. In keeping with the date, we were certainly in for some tricks and treats...

As we headed into greater water depths, it became evident that there were signs of fishing pressure on what appeared to be softer sediment communities, though unfortunately our time investigating these depths was cut short with the loss of the tow fish device fins…AGAIN!

However, the equipment downtime did attract some attention from some neighbouring critters. Bobbing around we began to see large numbers of seabirds settling on the water; suddenly, a dark fin shape and back appear from the water and as if from nowhere we were greeted with pilot whales some 70ft away from the ship.

Pilot Whales

After some whale watching it was back down below deck to prepare for the last few tows of side scan in our current location, and to start developing plans for camera work to investigate and identify the kinds of animals you find at different depths on the Wyville-Thomson Ridge.

Sidescan data processing