We celebrate being done with our work in Canal Copihue and enjoy the sights. We were happy to step foot on land to assist with some freshwater collections.
After finishing the work we were set out to do we can take a closer look around and are still amazed by the beauty of Canal Copihue.
After swapping out the two current meters in two different sites we began the process of photographing the long term monitoring experiments. To our surprise some of the recruitment plates we put out in March 2016 already had some life on them! Some anemones (closed up in this picture) are happy to colonize the free space.
Even though we had little difficulty working in the currents it doesn’t mean they weren’t strong! Here is a photo of Rodrigo holding onto kelp during our safety stop at 5 meters depth in order to prevent drifting away from the boat.
We changed the current meters relatively quickly with zero complications on the same mornings that we set up during HF28. The current meters are held vertically in the water column by buoys that remain 5 meters below the surface. In order to swap out the current meter we had to device a pulley system with a sliding knot to take the tension out of the line before we could do the swap.
Finally we made it to the beautiful Canal Copihue. The currents this time around felt less severe, probably because we didn’t have to use the pneumatic drill. We were able to time our dives with the current and take advantage of the currents in order to carry us from one dive site to the other all while at 20m.
Marine life in this area is stunning and we patiently wait, preparing and planning for our dives in Canal Copihue. The mission of this expedition is to change the current meters that are currently in place so the new ones can continue recording data and the data from the old ones can be offloaded. While we are there we have to take the monitoring photos of all the fixed frame sites, and of the recruitment plates.
The oceanographic sampling leads us to reaches of the Madre de Dios Archipelago that we have never seen before. Winding channels and fjords reveal a beautiful scenery and allow us to make a few exploratory dives of the area along with two other divers on board who are focusing on underwater videography.
It has only been 3 months since our last expedition, HF28, and we are beginning another expedition back to Canal Copihue. This expedition will be HF30, and one glance at our expedition vessel reminds us of the beautiful landscape that will once again surround us. Representing the Huinay Scientific Field Station, two of us are going as a diving team: Francine Beaujot and Rodrigo Sanchez. The focus of this expedition is oceanographic, and a team of nine people from Centro IDEAL are letting us join their expedition.
Led by Dr. Rodrigo Torres, their mission is to measure the chemical conditions of the Strait of Magellan, specifically the effects of acidification of the ocean. We thoroughly enjoyed working with their team. For more information follow this link to their website: http://www.centroideal.cl. The oceanographic expedition fell in line with our plans of returning to our monitoring sites again, so by teaming up we are fortunate to be able to combine our efforts to make it to the remote region.