July 2, 2002
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration
Alvin dive #3800 was scheduled as a shallow' dive with a depth range of 600 m to 200 m. Dives always start off at the deepest predetermined depth and then move to shallower depths over the course of the dive.
The shallower dives on the seamounts have been spectacular. We have seen ledges literally inches deep in brittle stars and crinoids in some areas, with large patches of corals and sponges scattered about, and numerous other marine organisms present. We have been fascinated by the "performances" of some of the marine life caught on tape with the Alvin cameras. Last night, we even watched a female fur seal demonstrate her acrobatic abilities right along side the ship for quite a while!
Click on the image above to view an Alvin video clip that is one that scientists are calling squid attack. It has become one of the favorite clips so far on this leg of the cruise. Squids surrounded the submersible for a short time on several of the dives, and the footage is dramatic with a few critters even stopping in front of the lens to provide us with a close up view of their elegant movements. ENJOY!
We will leave the seamounts tonight and head towards Kodiak, Alaska for a one-day port stop that will include offloading live crabs, switching a few science crew, and providing invitational tours to the community of Kodiak. We are in the process of cleaning up the ship, making posters, developing a best-of video tape of Alvin dives, and organizing samples to put on display for the tours. The Kodiak Chamber of Commerce will host a reception after the tours for all those on board the Atlantis, and then we will sit back and enjoy midnight fireworks that are part of an annual Fourth of July tradition in Kodiak.
We will head back out to sea on July 4 to spend another two weeks exploring three more seamounts in the Gulf of Alaska before landing back in Astoria, Oregon on July 15. Stay tuned for more updates on this very exciting expedition!
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