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August 15, 2008

His name is ROVERTO and he has bought a chalet

BY: Carlos Pérez


©OCEANA/ Carlos Minguell


Hello readers, under the optimistic assumption that there are any.

We are in Brindisi, Italy. A quizzical port located in a city of some 90,000 inhabitants who, truth be told, do not make much noise. Gorka says that he has seen on Google that Brindisi means “deer horns”,… we won’t delve into that matter.

There are a few things I would like to mention about this place. There is an airport, navy air military installations, a UN humanitarian aid logistical center, a refinery, some rather large Roman columns that mark the end of the Via Apia of the empire that invented gladiator fights and other more recent fortifications that remind me of war films (those they show on Sundays at noon with large operations and offensives to take strategic ports with submarines that graze submerged nets and a mine that miraculously doesn’t explode and a sailor from Arkansas who drops a wrench just when the enemy ships are trying to detect them, which are as bad as they are clumsy, of course, … all of that).

However, and contrary to what it may seem like from what I just said, it is an extraordinarily peaceful place. Our old friend ROVERTO (… the ROV, of course, how clever what a witty fellow I am!) has reached this peaceful backwater. But this time he has “bought himself a chalet” Let me explain.

Due to the Marviva Med’s dimensions, during this campaign, the device that accompanies the ROV has been increased with a container that we place on deck. What we put on the Oceana Ranger, or on the November 2007 expedition, inside the general room (monitors, racks, computers, connections, hidden wiring, command post and observation,…) will this time be mounted inside an attractive and functional container painted blue with a view of the sea. It will be less than two minutes from the head, (North woodwork, American kitchen, top quality).

Besides the container, the oceanographic winch has arrived. Once it is installed on the navigation deck, it will physically support the immersions during which we expect to reach depths of 600 meters or more if everything goes well.

The arrival of ROV with all of its technical baggage and the consequent loading operations have turned the Marviva Med into an “American race track” in constant motion for a few days… Watch out for the crane! Hey buddy, put your helmet on!

Using the ROV on the Marviva Med will mean taking a qualitative leap. Everything gets more complicated than on the Ranger if we look at the complexity of the installation and the volume of the peripheral equipment. However, once installed we can reach depths that were never attempted on the Oceana Ranger because of available deck space.

The operation is necessarily hindered with the physical distance between the three basic points that govern the immersion: Marviva Med’s Bridge, Main Winch and Command Center.

Although we already conducted our tests last November, all of us are tense now that we are faced with this new challenge for Oceana.. “deeper, more risk, more mystery, more rewards”

The ROV will navigate intelligently to 600 meters deep, by punctually following its pilot’s orders, separated by a 300 ton column of water. We will shed light down there and it will bring us knowledge, specific places that human beings will see for the first time,… Oceana on the frontier again.