06/18/04 - George's first dive & fire drill
|Lat:||31° 40.7 min N|
|Long:||77° 52.0 min W|
We steamed through the night to get to our dive locations due east of Savannah, Georgia. It was such a long way that we did not put the sub in the water until about 9:30 am (rather than our usual launch time of 8:00 am). Steve Ross was in the bow and George Yeargin with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was in the stern. George built many of the submerisble's traps, nets, rakes, and other collection devices. This was his first dive and he had a wonderful time watching his gear at work. They collected a good assortment of invertebrates including sea urchins, crabs, and a glass sponge.
After lunch we had a fire drill. When we first got on board the ship we received a safety briefing, so we knew the science team needed to gather on the rear deck with our life jackets and immersion suits. The chief scientists took a head count to make sure we were all present and we waited for the all-clear signal from the captain. The ship's crew acted as if a fire did exist: they put on their fire gear and took out all of the hoses and fire extinguishers. They didn't spray any water, but they were able to make certain everything is in working order. This kind of practice helps us if there ever is a problem.
For the afternoon dive, Tara Casazza sat in the bow and Liz Baird in the stern. They visited an area with ample coral rubble and patches of live coral and were surprised to find that the black coral polyps exhibited several color variations. As the sub moved past them, the polyps appeared to be yellow, orange, pink, and white. Tara and Liz also saw several coral hakes, rattails and some long eels.
We continue our journey south this evening and hope to be off the coast of northern Florida by morning.
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