Visiting the Mother of Gods

Visiting the Mother of Gods

In January 2018 a team of six brave scientists from the Huinay Scientific Field Station embarked an adventurous expedition into the heart of the archipelago Madre de Dios (Mother of Gods Archipelago) situated in the province of ?ltima Esperanza (Province of Last Hope) of the Region Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.

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The glaciologists from Bristol

The glaciologists from Bristol

In February 2018 we had the pleasure to welcome back Professor Jemma Wadham and Dr Jonathan Hawkings, this time they were accompanied by their master’s student Anna Covey. They are all part of the terrestrial team of the PISCES project (Patagonian Ice field Shrinkage...

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A Job Well Done

A Job Well Done

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.

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Recruiting Life

Recruiting Life

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...

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Life-Saving Kelp

Life-Saving Kelp

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.

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Swapping out the Current Meters

Swapping out the Current Meters

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...

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Taking Advantage of the Current

Taking Advantage of the Current

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...

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A Waiting Game

A Waiting Game

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...

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Returning to Canal Copihue

Returning to Canal Copihue

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....

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A Smiley Finish

A Smiley Finish

With big smiles we embark the same vessel that brought us here and begin the long journey back to Puerto Natales. The whole expedition team returns to their homes with countless stories of an incredible experience shared.

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Satisfying Work

Satisfying Work

After ten days of underwater (and above water) work, we have completed all the tasks we set out to complete.  In 23 dives, we installed 26 recruitment plates, 13 fixed frame sites, two current meters, five temperature loggers, and one conductivity meter. We are...

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Beautiful Debrief

Beautiful Debrief

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...

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In a Timely Manner

We establish three sites in the canal and work feverishly to drill enough holes to install our equipment with the limited number of days we have left. The time it takes to drill is the bottleneck of the operation. With the force one must exert to operate the drill and...

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Extreme Conditions Call for Extreme Measures

Extreme Conditions Call for Extreme Measures

Our pneumatic drill, which runs off of the compressed air from a scuba tank and down a long hose to 20m depth, is proving to be difficult to use in the extreme current. We push on and devise new gear for holding the air hose in place while we work so the drill doesn’t...

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Soaked But Smiling

Soaked But Smiling

We begin day after day of diving and underwater drilling to install our equipment. The rain beats down and the currents are some of the strongest we have ever experienced but we remain in high spirits, making the best of our time in this breathtaking place.

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From Vibrant Beauty to Dead Dust

From Vibrant Beauty to Dead Dust

On March 20th we make our first exploratory dive of Canal Copihue and come across the heartbreaking sight of the millions and millions of fragments of dead corals. The channel is shallow compared to the surrounding channels and it bottoms out at about 20 meters. In...

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Illuminated by Limestone

Illuminated by Limestone

The landscape in this region is incredible. The mine boasts that this is one of the purest limestone in the world. All the surrounding channels are illuminated by this light gray rock marked with dark crevices running down it from the nearly constant rain. This area...

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Investigating a Mass Mortality Event

Investigating a Mass Mortality Event

Our mission here is to investigate a mass mortality event that occurred in Canal Copihue. An expedition to this area in 2006 (A) revealed a canal that was filled with live cold water calcifying hydrocorals called Errina antarctica. In 2013 (C) a similar expedition...

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Becoming Part of the Mining Community

Becoming Part of the Mining Community

We have generously been given a shed to use as our workshop and lab while we are here at the station. As we unpack our dive gear and get the compressor and the pneumatic underwater drill running, we begin planning for the days to come. We will be living at the mine...

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A Destination Well Worth the Voyage

A Destination Well Worth the Voyage

The journey was long and was made even longer due to rough weather conditions; we were forced to stay anchored overnight before crossing Canal Concepción. When we finally get our first glimpse of the mine, the spectacular scenery makes us feel like the long journey...

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A Journey into an Abyss

A Journey into an Abyss

It’s March 16th, 2016 and we are ready to begin expedition “Huinay Fiordos 28”, the 28th expedition of the Fundación Huinay (Huinay Scientific Field Station). From the shore of Puerto Natales, Chile, we can see the 8m vessel, the Exploradora Patagonia II, that will...

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