Franklin Bay and Captain Canepa Bay

Nov 19, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

Staten Island is in an area notorious for strong winds and generally bad weather, which made our day all the more special. In the morning we had some wind and a few drops of rain which cleared to give a really beautiful and dramatic landscape to Zodiac cruise into, through a relatively narrow channel before landing on a sandy beach and splashing ashore. Many then hiked to see some rockhopper penguins.

By noon we were all back onboard and heading to our next destination –Captain Canepa Bay. This was at the end of a really beautiful fjord with steep granite cliffs, small birch forests on the slopes and geese and karakara hopping along this shore. The afternoon activity for most was a Zodiac cruise, cruising around the bay the ship sailed into as well as several branching off from it – incredible views!

So what were the dive team doing? They were off in the morning and afternoon exploring Staten Island’s incredible underwater life. From the two dives it was clear that Staten Island has an incredibly rich diversity of marine life and in such a vast array of colors. We also saw the largest limpets and chitins I have ever seen. During the second dive I spotted several basket stars –  a sea star with long, branching, sticky legs which are used to catch small planktonic organisms from the water column as they drift by.

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About the Author

Peter Webster

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

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