Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wednesday Sept 7

Exciting day today! We got to finish our check out dives.  But first we had to pack all of our personal gear to go down to the hab. There are many support divers that do all this work to help us. Just is just some of the items and food going down today.

I thought a great experiment would be to show a peanut butter sandwich in a ziplock bag before and after we went down. This would be a great demonstration of the effects of 60' of pressure. right?

Unfortunately, This experiment did not go as planned. Apparently, the bread has too many holes and did not shrink as well. However, I did eat it as my first meal in the habitat! I was lucky in that some of the clothes one of the aquanauts brought down did have the effect I was looking to see.

Oreos did the same! The bag crushed down very nicely. I am wondering what else I can play with with my new environment. Dinner consists of camping food, freeze dried main dishes, and plenty of snacks. They are pretty good. The view next to the dinner table was even better! We had our first team meal with this fantastic view. Eating was often interrupted by one of us seeing something outside the window and everyone looking to see what it was.

 The first and hardest dive was designed to teach us how to find our way back tot he habitat if we get lost. This method is to wrap a string around a rock and then move out far enough to see the rock without our goggles on.  You do this drill with two divers both barely seeing due the "loss" of our goggles.  Seeing underwater is OK, the salt water stings your eyes a bit, and everything is a blur.

  The drill is to swim in ever expanding circles so that eventually you find a bright yellow line that leads you back to the habitat. Sounds easy!  Not! after swimming what seemed like 9,345 miles we found the line.  There are large plastic directional arrows attached tot he line to point he way back "home" really they point he direct to more air.... A lost diver can follow these back and get to safety. Everyone passed the drill. I can say that this was one of the hardest 15-20 minutes of diving I have ever done.

  Now that the cameras are on a live feed to the internet, we get many people texting us saying that they are watching. Including some of my own fifth graders who discovered they can watch their teacher like a pet in an aquarium. :) This actually worked out well for us. One viewer said they were watching a big shark on one of the exterior cameras. We all ran to turn on the sonar to see if we could see him.  WE DID! A nice big bull shark was swimming all around the hab.
This is what he looked like on the sonar. The structures are the hab and the long fish looking thing is the shark swimming away at the moment. 

We were all excited. We were going from one porthole to the next to catch a glimpse of him. I helped with the science project for the morning by labeling over 100 ziplock bags for specimens to be collected in. While not exciting as blowing something up or watching the shark, it is an important piece of the experiment that has to be done before the fun can start. 

One really cool thing here is Buzz Aldrin's signature. He visited the hab and signed the wall. He was the second man to walk on the moon. I am fanboying a bit about this part of history I am sharing. 
As a final note for this entry. This is the bunk room. We have the BEST nightlight ever! I will be sleeping very well here!

I miss all of you, especially Mrs. Bartnick!  More later after the missions on Thursday.

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