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

January 29, 2006
Davidson Seamount Expedition Log: Day 4

BBC HD Filming at “Tip Top”
Today’s dive was dedicated to shooting High Definition video footage of Davidson Seamount biology. BBC producer Penny Allen and cameraman Warwick Sloss took over the control room to record footage for upcoming BBC productions. Much of the day was spent at “Tip Top” where fantastic communities of large bubblegum corals(see image to left) grow to mammoth proportions. The BBC also filmed sponge and coral communities on the benthos surrounding the larger bubblegum corals.

When the BBC crew were at lunch, NOAA scientists Chad King and Huff McGonigal took over controls and used the HD camera to zoom in on the tiny organisms living upon the sponges. Using the ROV Tiburon’s HD camera, they were able to record amazing footage of a caprellid amphipod standing upright on a yellow Picasso sponge (see image to the right), a basket star’s dorsal surface, and several other interesting critters before the BBC crew returned to the control room to resume production filming.

The BBC finished the day making a slow ascent filming midwater organisms including the red lobate comb jelly - Lampocteis (see image to the left), several siphonophores, an Aegina citrea, a midwater octopus, a Sawtooth Eel, and a Tomopteris polychaete worm. Today's filming ended up being well worth the effort. The BBC crew is very pleased with the HD footage that they acquired today.

- Lonny Lundsten

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