October 7, 2011 Diving, Diving, Diving...
More Great Diving
As we approach the dates for the departures of some of our team members, we have been packing in some really good and productive dives. Dr. Marsh will be leaving us in a few days and while we are really sad to see him depart the ice, we know that he and his family are excited to be reuniting. The dives that we have shared together have been really special.
Here are some of the organisms that we've been seeing on the dives. Stacy and Adam have shared a lot with me about the interesting organisms that call McMurdo Sound their home and I can't wait to use the next two weeks of journals to share that information with all of you.
Sea Stars are classified as "Echinoderms". This is a really interesting group and a very common one here in McMurdo Sound. There are many different species of sea stars and they play an important role in the ecosystem.
You've seen sea sponges in our journals before and one dive site that we are at frequently now is just covered with interesting sponges. Like the sea stars, sponges come in many shapes and sizes.
Currently, each of the divers has logged about 33 dives. We've been busy collecting worms. We've logged hours of underwater video footage and hundreds of underwater still images. We've also taken some gear bags down to collect sponges, urchins, and shellfish. It's been a busy diving seasons and we're not done yet!