Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Day 3 Aquarius

Day Three
 The weather is still too bad to go out and dive. There are two tropical storms
Gaston and Hermine as well as Tropical depression 9 hanging out around Flordia making the waves swell. As of this moment, the waves are 8 feet high every 5 seconds.

Today insstead of going out diving, we took advantage of the time to practice working with all the hoses and valves on double tanks. We learned what to do if something leaks air or breaks. This included how to get back to the habitat sharing air with and without our facemasks on. This will be a lot harder in the water.

We then went outside, because it stopped raining for a bit,and worked on how to use lead lines to work away from the habitat. There are several bright yellow nylon ropes that lead away from the habitat that are anchored to the sea floor. The ropes are about four feet off the ground so you can see them. You are supposed to follow the ropes out and back so you don't get lost. (See picture at bottom of post.)

 If you have to go away from the main ropes, we use leader lines (like big fishing reels) to attach to the main rope and then go off on an angle to what you want to look at.  In these pictures, we are tieing the lines off to rocks so it does not "drift off" as it will in the water later. If you get lost down there it is a BAD thing. Because we are pressured at 50', we can not come up without being decompressed. You will get very hurt if you have to pop up to the top. More about that in a minute.

Finally, we learned how to fill a last chance floating help indicator. This is like a ballon that you inflate that pops to the surface to let the topside emergency divers know you need help. They then come down to help you. This will look much better when we practice under water.

Ok back to what happens if you surface without going through 17 hours of recompression.You get to go in one of the hyperbaric chambers. They place you inside the one on the boat first, they can increase the pressure to equal the undersea pressure you were at before the emergency. They will also have medical person inside with you to help you.


When they get you to shore, they move you to a bigger chamber inside the building at the base.

I plan to avoid both places....

I am still practicing my rope signals. This is a way to communicate with divers and top side crew by pulliung on a rope in certain patterns. I have to pass this in order to go down. Yes, I have to take tests too.
This is a model of the aquarius habitat.

This is a cross section of the teather from the top bouy to the habitat. It carries electricity, communications, and air down to the habitat.

As we wait for the weather, we are constantly rechecking how the science plan will change with the possibly less time. This is our map where sonar, cameras, and algae trays will be placed. The straight lines are the guide ropes that I talked about earlier. The yellow oblong object is the lab. The yellow round object is the noise maker we are using to test to see if certain noises bring in more sharks.

The blacklines going fromthe bottom left to the top right show changes in water depth. Where the black ines are really close together show cliffs or steep drop offs. Look really close at the one in the upper right!
The points all the way to the bottom of the map are 120-130 feet down!

Hoping for better weather tomorrow. 
Miss all of you!

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