Sunday, November 16, 2008

A bit unstuck

The Herbertson Glacier site is finally finished! The Hotsy melted a nice hole, and in the process the stuck drill bits dropped to the seafloor. Today we loaded our dive gear on the ATV and snowmobiles, and set out to collect specimens, map the undersea topology, catalog organisms living under the ice, deploy sediment traps and experimental arrays, and add a new layer to our art/science project. Oh, and to recover those pesky drill bits.

The "down line" that we lower into the dive hole is decorated with flags and flashers; these help the divers find the hole while underwater. The down line has a basket on its end for lowering equipment and raising samples. A small bottle of emergency air rounds out the string of things lowered with the divers. Also seen here is a small hand winch we could use to help haul a diver out of the hole.

While the divers are underwater, the tenders must be prepared to help in any way. We carry first aid kits, hot water, and an emergency supply of oxygen (inside the grey box that Claire is holding).  Not to mention radios with spare batteries to call for help, if needed.

"Prepare for the worst; expect the best" is our motto ...

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