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Blog Posts by: Emilio Badenes

Ever since we left Hirtshals port in Denmark, we’ve been sailing in Danish and German waters, doing some dives with the underwater robot (ROV) and scuba diving in search of bubbling reefs.

On Saturday we came into Eemshaven, a Dutch port. And here there is such a striking contrast between the huge wind farms next to two big power stations, with the clouds of coal smoke billowing out of them.

At night we went out to party with the most of the crew on board as tomorrow is a day off. Regarding, the campaign itself, I’m really enjoying the work that we’re doing.

Well, today, it’s 29th July and we’re still on Neptune. The days go by and now the good atmosphere on board has turned into friendships.

We now know each other a lot, we all have a laugh together and we help each other out. But the most important thing is we work perfectly as a team.

Some days it can be hard being here but then there’s always someone who will make you laugh and that makes your day.

Three-bladed titans greeted us as the day broke. The huge air generators on the horizon provide electricity to a civilization that has started to feel very far from us after nine days at sea which, after treating us well for the last month or so, has started to show its true colours./p>

Today started out not so good, with strong winds and quite a lot of waves. So it was not possible to deploy the ROV in the morning so we did some grabs and CTD here and there. Later in the day there was less wind so we tried to do a ROV and that gave some good results. But OK, enough about ROVs, grabs and CTDs. I’d like to talk about another subject what is aswell important on board. And that is comunication with home on board a ship. When I started sailing, about 30 years ago now, there was no internet, no mobile phones, no wifi, no satelitte communication.

The first thing I want to do is say thank you to my fellow crew members for the sweet surprised they prepared for me the other day on my birthday.

I feel really lucky to be here for several reasons, but one of them has to be because of the great atmosphere here on board with all the crew - you’re all cool!

We kicked off the day with amazing weather. It’s been sunny and the sea conditions have been perfect to go scuba diving.

Back in the 90s, there was a TV show I used to love as a kid. Being here in the North Sea, on this marine conservation expedition, has brought back such vivid childhood memories of watching it. Each new adventure in the cartoon series Captain Planet encouraged us to understand and look after planet Earth and those messages are just as relevant now as they were back then.

This is my second year working for Oceana and also my second year in the North Sea. I am part of to the ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) team.

Our job here is quite interesting and has nothing to do with the jobs I have been doing before. Working, and at the same time taking care of the oceans, is a privilege that really makes you feel fantastic.

As you’ll know by now, we are a huge team made up of divers, biologists, sailors, photographers, underwater video specialists and more but we have come together as a team and atmosphere on board is very nice.

Today we woke up to a beautiful day in the northernmost corner of Danish waters. This is my first expedition with Oceana and I am excited to uncover what lies beneath the surface.

Working as a marine biologist on board the Neptune is hard but rewarding work. You would expect that getting covered in mud while gathering data would get you down but for me, it is refreshing and exciting compared to working in the office (The Neptune also has an unlimited supply of fresh coffee, which helps to raise our spirits).

The day rose with a calm sea and blue sky. I thought that was a sign of good omen for today’s dives in the deepest part of the areas we’re exploring in Denmark. But it wasn’t.

The winch that operates the ballast on the underwater robot (ROV) got out of bed on the wrong side this morning: it didn't want to move, despite all the efforts of our mechanics on board. So we changed the winch and then it was the pulley on the main cable that got stroppy with us.

First I would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Jordi! We hope you enjoyed the cake!

After a nice couple of relaxing days off at Hirtshals, Denmark, we are back to work (unfortunately the good weather didn’t follow us). Besides stuffing our faces with cake, we managed to deploy the ROV twice, get some grab samples and the divers went out.

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