Well we've ben ROVing again, another long transect that my shift joined half way through, and seeing occasional clumps of live coral. We then ended it with a roam around doing some "biological tourism" taking close up photos of the corals and where they are growing and other interesting features along the way. I shall try to get ahold of something funky to show you by tomorrow. Unfortunately we ended up without the video footage for the biological tourism section as both the digital backup failed and the tape ran out without anyone remembering to change it, so we are now all instructed to set an alarm for the end of the tape, which may be a bit of mayhem but is necessary given the difficulty of having to remember 3hrs and 15mins after you start its time to change the tape! 5 people had the opportunity to remember (me included) and none of us did, so it was lucky we learned this on the non scientific transect section of the dive!
The rest of the day has been a waiting game:
-transit off to pick up autosub, 1hr,
-stand on deck waiting to spot autosub, 3hrs
-mistake someone flushing the toilet out the side of the ship for autosub, 20seconds,
-give the autosub technicians a heart attack, 20seconds,
-spot the actual autosub 200m off the stern, 30mins later,
-wait for it to be brought in, 40mins
-transit to box core site, 2hrs,
-box core goes in and comes back up, 40mins,
...so as you might imagine there was a bit of boredom in the afternoon. I spent a while chasing after a purple sandpiper with my camera on deck. It didn't look very well and was all puffed up looking rather weak. Sadly an unnamed crewmember (I emphisise not I!) mistook this tiny wader for a seabird, picked it up and threw it over the side thinking it would a) fly or b)sit on the water. The fulmars were seen eating the small dead bird shortly afterwards. RIP purple sandpiper! The unnamed crew member is now feeling rather guilty!
Right I am off to bed again. 6hrs 9.30pm-3.30am is not quite enough for me I am finding so I am going to be ruthless and whip off to bed pronto. I should mention that we may be coming into some weather within the next 24hrs, we've all been warned to start prepping ourselves with seasickness tablets, so it is possible the internet will go down when we are in the thick of it. If so I shall be back as soon as it is up again, hopefully with some dramatic pictures (it'll almost be an anticlimax if this does not happen now!).
I'll write again soon.