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We're Off! The R/V Knorr Departs Barbados

05/23/2010, 12:39 AM by Lollie Garay
Pulling in the docking lines.<br/><br/>Credit: Lollie Garay
Pulling in the docking lines.
Photo Credit: Lollie Garay

lat long: 12.47N 059.14W
Air temp:28.6C 83.4F
Surface water:29.07C 84.3F
Surface salinity: 34.74 psu

We’re Off!

The RV Knorr pulled out of port as scheduled around 8AM this morning.
Everyone came out on deck armed with cameras to capture the moment as we watched Barbados fade into the horizon.

At midmorning a fire drill and safety meeting took place. Muster stations (where we meet in an emergency) had already been assigned. Today we practiced putting on life jackets and immersion suits. We also learned how to use the emergency radio transmitters, beacons and the EEBDs (emergency escape breathing device) which provides oxygen (similar to the emergency oxygen devices on an airplane).

As funny as we all looked in the immersion suits, we all understand how serious it is to know what to do in an emergency. Hope we never have to use them!

So now its all about getting the “sea legs” going! After a couple of hours out at sea, the rolling of the ship turned a few faces green. But by late afternoon most people had adjusted to the ship’s motion, and were back to work preparing for the first sampling station. The plankton nets will go down first around 2 AM, followed by the CTD cast around 6:30 AM.

I plan a test deployment of the Sea Viewer underwater video system just before the CTD cast.  A month ago,Mike Robinson (FMC) and I were discussing the Sea Perch ROV (MIT SeaGrant College Program) that my students had built last spring.  I explained that the idea was to attach a camera to it to capture underwater pictures. After seeing the ROV he agreed that it would work well  in a pool or shallow water, but definitely wouldn’t work well in the open sea. Peter McInnis (Schilling Robotics) heard about my plans and was interested in helping me develop an analogous underwater study for my students. He has generously supplied the SeaViewer to give us a look a at the subsurface environment.Before I left, my students had outfitted the SeaPerch ROV with a disposable camera to see if they could capture photographs. Upon my return, we’ll compare the maneuverability and the images caught from both the ROV and  the SeaViewer.

Schilling Robotics designs and produces robotics technology and subsea systems for underwater exploration. Thanks to Peter and Mike for making this happen!

Stay tuned!


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Question of the Day

  • Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?

    Only a few of them.  Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.