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After a series of issues with the boat today, we unfortunately decided to call the dive off. On the way out to side scan the ACE, the starboard engine overheated for some reason and had to be shut down. We turned around and managed to anchor near Site 019-A on one engine, but immediately after, the main DC power bus went out and we decided to pull back into port. After limping in and getting the boat tied up, I still decided to test the ROV and got the buoyancy balanced out so now the depth hold works perfectly. I managed to do a few dives to the bottom of the murky harbor and got some navigation practice. We'll try to get the boat repaired this week and head out next weekend.
Next stop - the Nassau grouper aggregation site! Initially things weren´t looking good. We´d taken the ROV out for 3 days but rough weather meant that the captain couldn’t keep the boat hovering over the same spot so it wouldn’t have been safe to deploy the tether. Similarly, I would have soaked my laptop from the spray. But, on the second to last day, just as the fish were getting ready to spawn we got a day with perfect weather! Predive checks were completed and we were on our way. Controlling the ROV whilst hiding under a towel and a tarp on the boat to be able to see the laptop screen was tricky, but we quickly go the ROV down to 30 metres. The site is deep, the fish are found on top of coral spurs between 25 and 35 metres, but the ROV was doing great - then disaster! We lost control. This happens around minute 4 of the video, (just as we are being to see all the fish). I lost power to the ROV although I could still see the camera. Then after a moment we lost all power. Divers were already in the water and as you´ll see in the video the ROV was rescued by a passing scientist (thanks Will!). Post dive diagnostic shows that the depth sensor which was glued under the back of the shell came loose and the wires got wrapped around the starboard prop, disabling the motor. The ROV seemed to get confused and shut down. Onboard repairs didn´t get it ready again for a second dive and we are back in the office checking it over. The video is from the GoPro so we see the entire dive. Siguiente paso – la agregación de mero! Nos tocó mal tiempo para varios días y no pudimos usar el ROV porque el capitán no pudo mantener la lancha en el mismo lugar, y se iba a mojar la compu… Pero por fin llegó un día con buen tiempo y completamos las revisiones antes del buceo para echarlo al agua. El sitio es profundo (entre 25-35 metros) pero el ROV llegó rápido a los 30 metros, todo bien, empezamos a ver los peces y…. desastre! Perdimos el control del submarino, aprox. minuto 4 del video. Unos buzos que estaban monitoreando el sitio lo rescató (gracias Will!). Lo que pasó es que el profundimetro que estaba pegado al casco se despegó y se enredó con el motor derecha. Lo subimos, intentamos repáralo en la lancha, pero sin éxito. Ya estamos en la oficina poniéndolo en marcha otra vez! El video es del GoPro y podemos ver todo el buceo.
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