Exploring Ancient Coral Gardens
Davidson Expedition, January 26 - February 4, 2006

February 4, 2006
Davidson Seamount Expedition Log: Day 10

Day 10 BBC Objectives: HD filming at “Tip-Top” and midwater.

Penny Allen and Warwick Sloss of the BBC began filming high definition footage at “Tip-Top” early this morning and were greeted by several interesting fish including a California Slickhead (Alepocephalus tenebrosus) and a Blob Sculpin (Psychrolutes phrictus). They continued shooting the bubblegum coral and sponge community at “Tip-Top” through the morning, getting excellent footage of the charismatic deep-sea corals for their upcoming PlanetEarth production. MBARI’s ROV pilots began Tiburon’s slow ascent through midwater where the BBC filmed several gelatinous organisms. During our ascent, the Tiburon was ambushed by a whole school of Humboldt squid who seemed to be working as an organized unit inking, flashing colors, and posing in front of the camera. At one point there was so much ink in the water that it was difficult to see what was actually happening. It was such an exciting spectacle that a crowd of scientists and ship’s crew gathered in the control room to see the footage on the big HD monitor. We continued the ascent to the surface filming larvacean sinkers and houses, but, unfortunately, no live Bathochordaeus. We surfaced at 11:15 just in time for a pizza lunch and are now in transit to Moss Landing. This was an incredible expedition to Davidson Seamount and I believe that all involved now have a greater admiration for this unique place.

- Lonny Lundsten

The magnificent Humboldt Squid (Dosidicus gigas) coming in and squirting a little ink at the ROV Tiburon.

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