First things first, to clear up any confusion… I’m putting in photo numbers with the blog for my posterity so that when I have the bandwidth and capabilities to upload, I will do so. Unfortunately, that probably will not be until I get back, so you can read now and check back for photos later (it will especially be worth the time because I was able to get my paws on the HD photos from the Jason control van, so there are some SAWEEEET shots of yesterday and today’s excitement).
Alright, so when I last left you, we had recovered a TRM that was lost overboard with Jason. The new day would see new opportunities for John and I to excel on watch (or so we like to think, but in actuality it has very little to nothing to do with us). That being said, we did get to stand more watch in the control van and play with our favorite ROV/robot again! The next phase of our itinerary was another recovery, but this one was on a float system. Early in the day we had sent the release codes to it, which were acknowledged, but none of us were able to spot the float on the surface. The good news was that we could talk to the instrument; the bad news was that all signs were pointing to a malfunction in the release mechanism, but the great news was that Jason would have to be deployed to check out the situation and it was going to fall on our watch again.
Within about an hour of taking our 0000-0400 watch, we were back in the van and ready for action. As before, once Jason found the sea floor he sprang into action. This time there was significantly less water being that we were only in about 110 meters of water, but from the time he was dipped to the time he located the malfunctioning OBS was less than 1.5 hours. Pretty incredible. The best part of this Jason deployment was the aquatic life that teemed at the site. We were getting heavy returns from biologics on site, and the schools of fish we found when we got there didn’t disappoint (Photos 168, 733, 777). There was even a starfish and grouper living in the OBS. Sorry for the eviction guys, but you know how New Yorkers are with their real estate…. Andrew (one of the OBS engineers) resent the release codes which allowed us to see where the malfunction was happening and from there it was Ben driving Jason to do his magic. Within minutes, the float was released and we were on our way (Photo 771).
After the float released, we retrieved the OBS, Medea, and then Jason. This took some time, as did the transit to our next location. Along the way, John and I got to help out the crew with some crane ops, maneuvering the TRM’s and racks on the deck of the fantail. I enjoyed feeling the salty grit of the ship’s lines on my hands again; it was great being part of the heartbeat of the crew (photos 004(3), 005(4)). With all the hard work the different teams on board had put in, it was a collective decision to take the evening off. For us watchstanders, this meant surveying the bottom with the ADCP (or Chirp) for Dr. Chris Goldfinger who was collecting data on the area. With tons of downtime, John and I burned a couple flicks: The Count of Monte Cristo and Prefontaine… Never would’ve been able to do that on watch in the Navy. We were vigilant in our mission and it was time to close the day. See you tomorrow with a guest writer on the blog! Stay tuned!
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