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June 30, 2011

30 June 2011 (2)

BY: Gorka Leclercq


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


Today, while the Ranger was on the high seas, the divers (including me) dove with the Subnauta dive club close to the coast, around Alvor, Portimao.

The first dive was on an artificial reef located on the sea bed at 32 meters depth, the water was cloudy because of the mouths of nearby rivers in the area of the Algarve.

It was a cube structure where each side measured roughly 6 meters. The reef was covered by different sessile organisms, I was barely able to get inside to film a conger eel (Conger conger) that was hiding from my camera lights, various seabreams (Diplodus vulgaris) were feeding in the holes of the reef, unaware of our presence, and I filmed a couple of sea slugs (Hypselodoris picta) hiding in the structure. I also filmed some abandoned fishing gear on the sea bed. Again, we’re faced with the incongruence of human beings, on one hand they create these structures and on the other hand they try fishing with all types of gear for pure benefit.

Our second dive was on a shipwreck, the gunboat “Faro” that sunk in 1912 when it crashed into a tugboat near the coast, at only 15 meters depth.

What’s left of the hull has been colonized by various gorgonians and the stern and boiler rooms harbor different species like conger eels (Conger conger), a forkbeard (Phycis phycis), shrimp (Palaemon sp.) and various crabs (Necora puber).

After almost one hour diving, we returned to port to see the images, edit them and select the photographs and footage to be used as graphic material for this campaign.

Tomorrow, we’ll repeat the dives close to the coast, but further west, close to Sagres.