Seamounts 2007, Day 4-7

Weather, O’ Weather…you are my fair and fickle lover. On day 4, we sailed on from
Davidson to Patton Escarpment, but a 25+ knot wind kept the ROV out of the water. We
steamed further south with the intent of diving off the Channel Islands on the sheltered
leeward side. However, naval exercises in the area (i.e. if you come near us we will
torpedo you out of the water) and a further degradation of the sea state (from Moderate
Nausea to I Think I Just Puked Up My Spleen) prevented us again from diving. We steamed
back north to take shelter in Monterey Bay, taking a full 2 days as we made only 2-4
knots against a tremendous head wind. Today, we made an impromptu dive within the
shelter of the bay to look for corals. Luckily, we also collected two of my sea slugs
although they were diminutive compared to those taken from Davidson and Pioneer
Seamounts. If you are counting that is 1 dive in 4 days. Scratch off the other seamounts
and the escarpment too. At the end of the expedition we will have only visited 2 of the
originally planned locations. With all the downtime there has been little to do except
snack, read, and watch movies. Being in the bay at least allowed cell phone usage and we
were allowed to call ashore to complain to our loved ones how bored we were. The current
plan is to sail back to Davidson and wait in rough seas until things calm enough to core
and/or deploy the ROV.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 Replies to “Seamounts 2007, Day 4-7”

  1. I’m trying to catch up here. Are you doing research?

    I guess it would be boring to be stuck on a boat for a few days but right now that sounds good to me. We just returned from vacationing on Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico. After a week of being as lazy as humans can be, it’s tough beginning a new week and getting back to the old grind. As much as my husband loves his work as a marine biologist, he loves fishing and reading and cocktailing on vacation even more.

    Here’s hoping that the weather cuts you some slack and you get to get in the water instead of just looking at it.

Comments are closed.