When and where we dive with Nautilus has been a moving target this past week with equipment failures and bad weather conditions (wind and swell). We’ve be hiding in the lee of Channel Islands and just completed two dives over the past two days. A week sooner than anticipated – we all rallied and Lizzie Duncan pulled it off. We saw tons of sponges and corals and made numerous collections.
Tomorrow (Oct 16) we transit to Santa Lucia Bank and will have our first dive on deeper portions of the bank 1500m – 1250 m starting at 1600 to 0800 the next day, You can follow along via NautilusLive.org. Then we transit to Davidson to give the MBNMS team at least one additional diveon the SW corner of Davidson. Because of the equipment failure and weather they lost out on 5 of their planned dives and thus far only completed one. Then back to Santa Lucia to dive on the Escarpment (3500m to 2000m) on Oct 18 from 1600 to perhaps 1200 the next day, pending another bad weather window coming in. We will go back to CINMS and if the weather models hold we will return to Santa Lucia on Oct 23 and 24 (or so could be later) for two additional dives – not sure where yet, I have 4 targets to choose from. It depends on what we find on the first two dives and weather.
Violet Sage Walker is participating in an OET outreach event on Oct 19 at 1 pm PST https://nautiluslive.org/education/events to share about the Chumash connections to this place. Hope you can join via Youtube or FB – see the Nautilus webpage.
Next on Nautilus: Channel Islands NMS & Santa Lucia Bank
Monday, October 19th at 10 am Hawai’i / 1 pm Pacific / 4 pm Eastern
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has been explored at shallow depths, but scientists on this expedition will be exploring deeper areas in need of immediate management decisions. The team will also explore an area west of Santa Lucia Bank, which is a proposed location in a nominated Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. Join Violet Walker, Lizzie Duncan, Laura Francis, Lisa Wooninck, and Julie Bursek as they discuss how scientists manage Sanctuaries and why expeditions like this one are so important.
This is very exciting and gratifying to see how everyone is flexible and willing to jump in on short notice.
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Lisa Wooninck, Ph.D.
NOAA/ONMS/ West Coast Region
99 Pacific Street, Building 100F
Monterey, CA 93940