10 April: The Straits of Magellan (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013)
We started the day with two muddy trawls. The ship came with some sieve tables, which are exactly as they sound: sieves as big as tables!
We shovelled mud onto the top, and washed the mud away, revealing the animals previously hidden. It's pretty dirty work, but thankfully it wasn't that cold. And we found great animals.
We spent a few hours finding some harder ground, and did a final trawl that had no mud at all (hooray!). The highlight here was finding the first specimen of a slug called Doris kerguelenensis. It’s one of my special favourites, so it was a nice milestone to find the first one.
We then decided to leave the Straits of Magellan, and head to our furthermost location for the trip: South Georgia. It will take a couple of days to get there, which will give us some time to get our databases up to date. Each sample we take is photographed and the data recorded in certain ways. Making sure that every expedition member understands this process fully is important.
As we approached the transition from the Straits to the ocean, two things happened. First, we had to return the two Chilean ship pilots that had been on board since exiting the port. They were here to share their knowledge of these treacherous waters and strong currents and to assist our ship's captain. But as we exit Chilean waters, they leave us.
We also said goodbye to our Chilean observer, who is a government representative, ensuring we obey our permit restrictions. Javier is also a biologist, and we will miss having him with us.