Cruise JR269A, west of Svalbard – 1 September 2011

OBEM octopus

Another grey, cold and exciting day in the Arctic. Today, SYSIF (our deep towed sonar system) have a day off and it is now the turn for our air-gun (a bubbles powerful weapon) and our 60-metre streamer (a long tail with receivers) to come into action. Before that, two of our OBEM (seafloor electromagnetic receiver) which look like a four legs octopus are deployed.

The dance of bubble shoots start. Meanwhile, our MMO (marine mammal observers) are trying to ensure that no MM (marine mammal) is around our dangerous weapon. After more than ten hours trying to spot a single MM, there were not sightings. The weather was gloomy, the light intensity was low, the sea was on the rough side, there were lots of white caps... These reasons could explain why our ‘experts’ MMO couldn’t spot any MM or maybe the reason was that, as it was raining, the whales didn’t want to get wet coming up to the surface... Anyway, now we are heading towards a ridge called Vestnesa where the OBS will be deployed again and SYSIF will return to its usual job of diving through the cold waters of the Arctic.