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August 1, 2010

Port of Palma. Groundhog Day.

BY: Silvia García



We continued in the port of Palma awaiting the technician who will fix, we hope, the robot. It seems like Groundhog Day because in Cartagena we were in a very, very similar situation, waiting for Monday for the part that would allow us to keep working to arrive. Besides, since we reached Palma, for those of us who do not dive, every day is the same. We repeat the same day every day here, in front of the computer.

When there is work in the sea, we do not have so many hours to catch up on “office work”. Rather we accumulate work for the winter. But today the heat is practically unbearable inside this aluminum Oceana Ranger. I don’t know what the temperature is outside, but I think I’d rather not know. Today is a day off for everyone, and I’m making use of the hottest hours during which it is impossible to remain in the mess room -the room where all the computers are- to take a dip in the sea. Not everything should be about studying and defending it. This island has spectacular spots for doing a bit of snorkeling because there are so many rocky coves that even near the port we can find a submerged rock to have a look at. The ascidians Aplidium conicum are precious, and they are everywhere, and we also saw a huge variety of little rock fish barely a few meters from the shore. We even saw an octopus. Sadly, we found a number of Caulerpa racemosa that we were not expecting as a blanket of tentacles covering everything. We found any sessile life form “trapped” under this tropical algae that has invaded the Mediterranean. Several investigations are being carried out in the Mediterranean to learn the causes and consequences of the appearance of strange species in this sea in order to find the solution to the invasion, if there is one.