We have arrived! Well, technically we arrived late last night, but here we are now at SGaan Kinghlas – Bowie Seamount. It’s a very surreal feeling right now, knowing this seamount is sitting directly below us, I can’t help but have this overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be apart of this expedition and represent the Haida Nation along the way. I told the story of the two brothers and their search for Puffin Beak Island to some of the science crew during our transit from Dellwood Seamount. Then ten minutes into my watch Cherisse Du Preez, the Science Lead on the expedition came to fetch me after a possible puffin sighting here at SGaan Kinghlas – Bowie Seamount. I unfortunately did not get to see the puffin myself, but like to think it came to welcome us all to the area.
One observation I’d like to add is a noticeable increase in the amount of swell we’ve had here; one may attribute this to the seamount sitting just 23 m below us? Regardless, I’ve taken my gravol and sneaking in naps between my shifts. A skill I fine-tuned during my time at university, hah.
One of the main goals of this expedition is to establish long-term monitoring sites at each of the seamounts. This is done by using markers and photo mosaics at various depths of coral and sponge assemblages throughout the seamounts. These monitoring sites will monitor for things like climate change and human impacts on the marine environment. During the transect with the ROV’s one thing you could not help but notice is the amount of marine snow falling throughout SGaan Kinghlas. This goes to show that this seamount is providing lots of nutrients in one way or another to the critters living down below. We didn’t quite make it to the pinnacle of SGaan Kinghlas – Bowie Seamount this dive, saving the show for another day. Stay tuned for more updates from my experience on this expedition and make sure to check out the livestream! #PacificSeamounts2018 #HaidaSeamounts