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August 22, 2016

To run or not to run



Yesterday’s massive swells allowed us to do nothing but grabs…and grabs we made…countless numbers of them!

Waking up this morning, we were excited to see the swells had calmed down enough to launch the ROV. Straight after breakfast the ROV was on its way to the bottom of Gasfonteinen, in Dutch waters. Gasfonteinen is known for pockmark structures.

Pockmarks are made from methane gasses slowly leaking up through the bottom, creating dips in the seafloor, as the gas pockets deeper in the bottom, are depleted.

The excitement was short-lived when the ROV operators suddenly lost control of all functions of the ROV. A flood alarm showed on the many screens in the ROV control room. As a preventative measure the ROV automatically shut down most functions, leaving it dangling midwater at the end of the umbilical cord. The ROV operators quickly bypassed the alarm and regained control of the ROV. It was brought back on board immediately with no further problems.

Then the problem shooting started…water had leaked into the ROV somewhere. There are many systems working in the ROV, 5 motors, 3 cameras, multifunction arm, sonar, tracking…etc.

So we went back to doing grabs…

Shortly after lunch the ROV was ready to dive again. Water had entered a faulty wire of the arm. The wire connections were fixed and the diving continued.

Today’s highlights:

1. An albino flatfish.

2. A little bird landing on our videographer, Jorge Candán’s head.

Today’s dilemmas:

1. Not being able run for a video camera with that little bird on head, without little bird flying away…

2. Having to pose, for countless photos with little bird on head…




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