Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: Mission Logs

 

Mission Summary

Mission Summary

Our Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013 cruise involved a team of 22 scientists and divers working on two ships, the R/V F.G. Walton Smith and the M/V Spree, to accomplish all of our mission objectives.

August 26: Benthic Surveying With A Remotely Operated Vehicle

August 26: Benthic Surveying With A Remotely Operated Vehicle

A major task of our cruise is to characterize benthic habitat at Pulley Ridge and the Tortugas area by conducting video and still image transects with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

August 25: MOCNESS: Not A Monster, But A Tool

August 25: MOCNESS: Not A Monster, But A Tool

One of the tools we have on the RV Walton Smith for this cruise has the intriguing name of MOCNESS, possibly a play on Loch Ness, and its mythical monster. MOCNESS is the acronym for Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System.

August 22: Mesophotic Algae

August 22: Mesophotic Algae

Mesophotic reefs are deeper reef systems (to 150 meters in the clear waters of the subtropics and tropics) that still receive enough light for photosynthesis, the process that drives nearly all ecosystems in the world.

August 21: Close Encounters in the Pelagic Realm

August 21: Connecting with Connectivity

Population connectivity refers to the exchange of individuals from one population or sub-population to another.

August 20: Close Encounters in the Pelagic Realm

August 20: Close Encounters in the Pelagic Realm

Every day on the R/V Walton Smith, we start looking for places to set fish traps. This is a two-step process, first using high-resolution acoustic maps to locate areas of relief likely to attract fish, and then ground-truthing those sites during ROV dives.

August 18: Technical Diving: Preparing to Go Deep

August 19: When the Weather Outside is Frightful

Yesterday, the start of our daily operations coincided with the first of several gnarly squalls to pass through our area. Undeterred, the team accomplished the usual day’s objectives.

August 18: Technical Diving: Preparing to Go Deep

August 18: Technical Diving: Preparing to Go Deep

The dive profiles we are planning during this cruise will be similar to what we conducted last year. Most of the dives we did were in the 75m (225 fsw) depth range for about 20 minutes.

Pulley Ridge Technical Diver Log

August 17: Go to the Light

Yesterday, for the third night, FAU Harbor Branch’s Brian Cousin and I set our light traps right before sunset.

August 16: Gone Fishing

August 16: Reef fish on the Ridge

We arrived at Pulley Ridge on August 14 around 1600, having eaten and slept our way across 350 miles of water.

August 14 Log: The southern tip of Pulley Ridge

August 14 Log: The southern tip of Pulley Ridge

Hello from the southern tip of Pulley Ridge (PR), a 100+ km-long series of north-south trending drowned barrier islands on the southwest Florida Shelf.

August 13 Log: Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: We’re Underway

August 13 Log: Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: We’re Underway

The R/V F.G. Walton Smith is ready to get underway for the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity expedition.

 

 

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