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April 13, 2016

Back to the Baltic

BY: Rubén González



Hello everyone, my name is Rubén González and I am responsible for coordinating the ROV manoeuvres onboard the boat. My job involves positioning the boat such that the ROV can navigate underwater, so I have to take into account factors such as the currents, the wind direction and intensity, depth, bottom profile, the vessel’s response time, and the movements of the ROV. I am stationed on the deck, where I can communicate continuously  with the ROV team and the captain.

This is my second expedition in the Baltic. I’m happyto have been able to return.I like this region and find it interesting to navigate these shallow waters that are so heavily influenced by currents, and to help our colleagues to identify areas that should be protected.

Today, the ROV team and the divers headed by car to the port, loaded the equipment and sailed off together to the North to try to find the elusive bubbling reefs.

The divers found sandy bottoms with some algae of the genera Fucus and Laminaria, in which they documentedspecies such as gobies of thegenus Pomatochistus, echinoderms like the common starfish (Asterias rubens), different types of crustaceans like Pagarus hermit crabs and crabs (Carcinus maenas) They could also document some jellyfish, such as Aurelia aurita. (Thanks, Kike, for the information!)

Meanwhile, the ROV team carried out four dives at different points, at  about 10 meters depth. So far, we aren’t encountering strong currents, and the manoeuvres are not  difficult. The captain and I are  getting to know one another and starting to coordinate between ourselves and with this new vessel, which is crucial. Navigation is interesting because there is a lot of maritime traffic in the area. We returned to the port, and the hotel, after a long day of work, but with a good feeling. Finally everything is underway  and we are starting to obtain very interesting data.

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