The truth about sponges
“The days flowed by in Bass Strait, with one robot submarine deployment after another, constantly moving from site to site. Seals leaped and played in the waters around the ship, tailing us like faithful dogs. We would often see them hovering around the sub as it was coming in to be retrieved, drawn by curiosity to the alien lights and whirring propellers of the torpedo-shaped machine.” The air in Bass Strait is crisp and cold in early July. This is an area known for its foul weather, but for the first few days of our voyage we are treated to sun and calm seas, the water reflecting the sky like liquid glass. We are out here conducting a survey of temperate reef systems, part of an ongoing effort to assess and quantify how they are structured over space and through time.