Saturday, July 14, 2012
Today we recovered three Abalone seismometers. The first one was Y1M5 (see chart for location) at 07:30 from 828 meters down. The second seismometer (J57) was much shallower. At only 56 meters deep, its structure was covered with barnacles, anemones and a couple of sea stars. The next seismometer (Y1M4) was recovered from 563 meters of water at 20:20.
As the day progressed, the wind and sea flatten somewhat, permitting observation of marine mammal activity. During the morning we spotted two humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) lunge feeding, possibly on herring. Later (~19:30), we had the good fortune to watch a large pod (~200) of Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) swimming with another pod (~100) of Pacific right whale dolphins (Lissodelphis borealis). They could be clearly identified by their lack of a dorsal fin and torpedo-like breaching behavior.