Date: June 13, 2003
The second double dive was most noteworthy in its contrast with the previous dive, although the locations were only separated by a few miles.
Today we were on basically abyssal sediments with very few animals in sight. There were a few very large rattail grenadiers (Coryphenoides armatus) and some huge shrimps (an oxymoron), and some cucumbers but little else.
Whereas the area of the first dive seemed to be a nursery for grenadiers, part of the area traversed by MIR2 yesterday appeared to be a nursery for elasipod holothurians. Andrey Gebruk, who is an expert on deep sea cucumbers, was quite pleasantly surprised.
Everywhere throughout our dives, there have been high concentrations of marine snow. Georgiy Vinogradov say it is the most that he has seen anywhere.
Read a Nature article about marine snow.
Also we keep running into beautiful sponge gardens, as well as near-bottom concentrations of appendicularian houses. Both sponges and appendicularians filter feed on extremely small particles. There is also a lot of phytodetritus in evidence.
increasingly stormy conditions