We woke up this morning with a little sunshine (at last), and in this bright morning, there was also a bright start: dozens of fish and hundreds of invertebrates from a deep trawl were coming to surface. I must say I had high expectations for this trawl to come up, not only because of the obvious scientific curiosity, but also because a much more mundane reason: I was expecting to taste some of them!
After the trawl captures came in the boys and girls from Aberdeen, Durham and East Anglia got themselves to separate out the fishes, the team from Southampton to take apart the invertebrates and … me , I was trying to smuggle some fish out of their sampling and some “gambitas rojas”(red shrimps). However my attempts were discouraged by two facts: firstly the actual fishes (don’t ask me the long and latin name) were very ugly, and so I found it hard to imagine that they could taste nice; secondly, after the scientific processing of the “samples”, there was very little remaining of the original fish (although Antonio, the captain, was suggesting to do a nice broth with them…). But thanks to the encouragement of Monty: “…the aspect of these fishes is a wrong criterion to judge their taste…” I will try to be more courageous next trawl and see if I can get hold of one of those fishes and take it to the ship’s kitchen…
Apart from the trawl and the culinary curiosity, a lot of other interesting science was going on during the day: a shallow CTD and an optics cast were done in the morning and the PML group got on to filter seawater and do the primary production incubations. Also an EK60 survey of the area was duly done during the afternoon. In the evening the activity even increased: a sediment sampler went to the bottom and collected some “mud samples” (again, I am unsure of the technical word to use here, but I did taste some of those, and I can report that they actually taste like cheese…), the PAL lander was recovered (this activity always impresses me, not the actual recovery manoeuvre, but seeing the lander coming back to surface!), and the amphipods trap was sent to the sea floor.
And just as I am writing these lines, the NOCS Shrimp is going down to 2500m and tonight there is another deep trawl planned. Not a bad day of work for a Sunday….
PS: I’ll leave it here as I would like to take a place in the Main Scientific lab, to see tonight’s movie: “Shrimp 2: return to the deep ocean” … Pity we lack pop corn!