Today we moved to British waters and to the more sandy part of the Cleaver Bank. We had three successful ROV trips to the banks. We saw the nice side of the ocean floor – beautiful ripples, and a few scattered stones. The areas were full of life with, for example, dragonets, weeverfish, hermit crabs, Ross corals (not a real coral but a bryozoan one), starfish and plenty of flat fish.
For submerging the ROV we use a metal cage to “park” the ROV in before lifting it in or out of the water. The first two times we had some difficulty in the landings (after a dive going out of the water), so the team had to find all kinds of isolating padding to make sure the ROV didn’t get damaged when it bumped into the cage due to some strong waves. But in the afternoon the North Sea began to show its real personality, the wind took hold and the waves and current became stronger, which really put the ROV technicians to the test. Luckily, everything went well in the end and we secured the ROV safely on deck for the day. We also took two measurements using the CTD instrument and 3 grabs today – all full of mussels and worms.