A big step

While one of the few sites in the Antarctic that includes a view of a man-made structure, the Jetty is still quite beautiful. Seals often hide in the shadows seen to the right to keep a watchful eye on the intruders into their blue realm.

Cores for one of our replicates.

Today we did yet another dive at the jetty. The great part about it was that we collected the last of our samples for what will be the largest experiment of this expedition, harvesting mud from the site we spent the first 6 dives identifying and the next 8 days sampling. This was also important as we needed to get these samples before the sun was always on the seafloor.


Beroe just after gulping some water or food – its food is too small for me to see. The iridescent combs paddle along its so it can move.

Upon entering the water we were met by many large ctenophores (Comb Jellies – this one is a Beroe) that were around 6-8 inches long. I had never seen them feed before and this species gulps water with its mouth, very reminiscent of how a whale shark feeds, only smaller.

Rory collecting samples for microbiological analysis.

 

Rory decided to do some collections for a pilot project that may tie his coral reef work directly into the habitats here, in this case using a syringe to collect water from a variety of locations.

Rory taking the samples back to the dive hole. Above you can see a tidal crack which is the reason that we have to take sea ice safety classes. A hazard from above and beautiful from beneath.

Rory was nice enough to take the core rack (as we call our much-loved milk crate) back to the dive hole while I trailed along taking a few photos for the day.

A blue safety stop.

We end every dive with a safety stop right below the hole. This is the coldest part of the dive as we have been slowly chilling throughout the dive and now have to sit close to the warmth of the dive hut but still in the freezing water.

Here is our dive tender for the day, Chuck, waiting to help pull our gear out of the water.

This is the view that ends every dive – a dive tender waiting to collect our equipment and help us get out of the water. We can’t dive without them and it also allows us to meet more of the wonderful people on the station that make our science possible.

 

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