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DeepSee Dive on Hannibal Banks

Photo: DeepSee submarine descending on Hannibal Banks with Shari Sant Plummer and David Shaw
Photo credit: Kip Evans

It’s almost impossible to plan an trip like this. Factors of weather, mechanics, and physical logistics are the enemy of scheduling. Today we are about two hours behind on scuba diving, and plans for a sub interview with Hector Guzman from STRI are scrapped due to rough seas, allowing me some unscheduled time to write.

 

The sub, Deep See, on UnderSea Hunter has made six dives covering a large part of Hannibal Banks, which reaches depths of just over 1000 feet. My good friend David Shaw and I took our first dive in the sub yesterday with the DeepSee pilot Eli. It was a bizarre sensation to see water going up over your head as the dome descends, I found myself instinctively stretching my neck as if to get the last breath of air.

 

As the water enveloped us we saw thousands of tiny Pterapods flapping thier little butterfly wings, like gnats buzzing at the exterior of the dome. The depth gauge read 17 meters and diving, Kip appeared with Biff above us, scuba diving so he could get some photos of us on our decent, he slowly faded with the surface light at about 120 feet. Beautiful salps and jelly fish gracefully dodged our glassy dome as we head for the top of the sea mount at about 350 feet. What we found at depth was a sandy bottom covered with several crabs and stomatopods, or mantis shrimp. The sub moved skillfully across the sand doing an eastern transect, recording our findings with a video camera, and stopping to photograph and measure anything of interest. We came across some rock structures decorated with white corals and pink fringing coral, several small orange fish moved quickly through the crevasses. videolivepage.apple.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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