OceanGate Blog Post

Possession Sound Shark Research: Dives 13-15 Updates

By: Mikayla Monroe
September 26, 2019

Dive 13 featured the owner of Bluewater Distilling and friend to OceanGate, John Lundin! We enjoy many meals at his restaurant and were happy to show appreciation of our local collaborative relationship. He created a recap video of his experience on Vimeo. How fitting that Bluewater’s passion runs deep.

For dives 14 and 15, we moved to back to the Southwest side of the island to shake things up a bit (see Site 4 on the map) and we were thrilled to discover that it was the right decision to make! The last time we dove this area, we saw a Lion’s Mane Jelly during our descent. On the North side of the island there were no Lion’s Mane Jellies to be found.

On our first dive at Site 4, Sub Pilot Kenny saw what appeared to be a bundle of lines on sonar. He drove us up to the object and it certainly looked like layers and layers of lines—until we realized it was a Lion’s Mane Jelly! It was orientated sideways and propelling away from us. Kenny stopped the thrusters and we all sat in awe, observing the graceful creature. We also discovered a densely-packed patch of Plumose Anemones along the wall.

Crew from Tuesday’s dive was hoping for a similar encounter for the Thursday crew. After wrapping up observing the bait, they left the bottom to explore the region. Once again, Kenny discovered the “lines” on sonar and headed over to find another Lion’s Mane Jelly!

Lion’s Mane Jellies are the largest known in the world. Their long tentacles can reach up to 30.48 meters (100 feet) and their bulbous body can grow to 2.43 meters (8 feet) wide! The largest recorded Lion’s Mane Jellyfish had tentacles 36.57 meters (120 feet) long. Based on the size of the two we saw, they were on the younger side.

One closing observation regarding shrimp species at different locations: on the North side of the island at Site 3, there were many Spot Shrimp/Prawns. On the South side of the island, there are far more Ghost Shrimp and very little, if any, Spot Shrimp/Prawns. When we examined the food web, Gray Whales hunt along the West side of Hat Island, raking the sand for their Ghost Shrimp prey. It’s fun to see the food web variations in action.

Can’t wait to see what else we discover at Site 4!