Today is the last day at sea for the crew of the Neptune, since we’re scheduled to dock in Newcastle tonight, putting an end to this expedition, the second by Oceana in the North Sea.
We have a lot of nautical miles along five countries at our back, we’ve dredged the seabed 138 times, taken 799 samples, and done over 80 ROV transects. We’ve made a total of 28 dives which, as a diver, were certainly the best moments for me.
I’ve been able to observe colonies of seabirds in Scotland, a natural spectacle, thousands of birds in their nests. Spectacular sites on the coasts of Norway, kelp forests, camouflaged monkfish laying still on the seabed waiting for prey, seals that mistrusted me and kept their distance…sandy plains with sparse sea life in the waters of Denmark, reefs off the coast where I saw massive cod. In Netherlands, a wreck full of velvet crabs, sand, sand and more sand covered with sand mason worms that provide substrate for other animals. At the end of the expedition we went diving again in water off the UK and were once again surprised: rocks covered with dead man’s fingers, curious seals who approached us and bit our fins, creating more unforgettable memories.
After almost two months I realize that I’m leaving a part of myself in these waters and taking home many good memories. I’m leaving for another year with the satisfaction of a job well done by the entire Oceana team and with the hope that it will be the driving force that helps protect this sea.
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”.