We started mapping north of Sørøya but Monday evening when the wind became too strong for our research vessel G.O. Sars to stay on position, we started steaming to Varangerfjord,the stations farthest to the east. After twenty hours of steaming we could start mapping outside the Varanger peninsula Tuesday afternoon. Since then we have moved towards west. The plan is to finish as many stations as the weather allows while heading towards Tromsø. The weather has been rough, but we have been able to work until Friday midnight when the wind was so strong that we had stand by at one of the more remote stations and go closer to coast.
For this cruise many of the planned stations are close to coast and shallow, thus we are mapping both coast and offshore. Close to coast fishing gear can pose a problem and planned stations might not be possible to investigate because they are standing in the way.
Close to coast in shallow waters gravel and boulders dominate, totally covered with hydroids, tunicates and incrusting sponges. We also recorded the rice coral (Primnoa resedaeformis), probably at its most eastern location along the Norwegian coast.
Friday evening we came across sixty-eight Kingkrabs marching along the coast. They were all moving determined in the same direction.
The wind has gradually become stronger and Saturday night we had to take shelter in Tanafjord and use the opportunity to collect grab samples for a MAREANO project testing effects of grab size on fauna documentation.
Arne Nygren, a chief scientist at ”Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet” in Göteborg is guest onboard and he samples polychaetes for a project on "Crypic species of polychaeta in Norwegian waters" financed by “Artsdatabanken”.
Written by: Lene Buhl-Mortensen (cruise leader), Kjell Bakkeplass, Inger Marie Beck, Heidi Gabrielsen, Gjertrud Jensen, Josefina Johansson, Ragni Olssøn and Andrey Voronkov