Our cruise to the PAP site has finally come to an end and after a successful couple of days at the Porcupine Seabight the James Cook steamed back to Falmouth. Although everyone was excited by the prospect of fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables, and yes, family and friends too, the joy of returning to “normality” is always accompanied by some sadness.
Up in the Artic, at this time of the year, there are still 24 hours of light. It is such a weird sensation arriving to your cabin at 4 am (after some hours looking at seismic lines, maps of the seafloor, and images of bubble plumes) and having to close the window blind!
Ahoy, everyone! A couple of days ago, we finally left the Porcupine Abyssal Plain after a very successful sampling regime of megacoring, trawling, and the deployment of various other instruments over the past few weeks.
Ahoy, everyone! Today, you are in for a treat. As you know already, we are deploying a whole range of instruments to get an idea about what type of creatures live at about 4,800 metres depth here at the PAP site.
The days when we take the trawl samples seem to be a somewhat confusing mixture of sleeplessness, excitement and a lot of hard work! For me, these trawls are really the reason I’ve been out here for the last two weeks as I gather samples of abyssal fish for my PhD.
The deep sea is a reservoir of unknown biodiversity, particularly among invertebrates living inside the mud with many species new to science and in many ways rivalling the discovery of new insect species in rainforests.