Vickie takes the plunge

We worked on a variety of issues today. Bart, Chris, Kristof and I worked on figuring out why we did not receive images form the sonde camera. Bill and Vickie tested the radio beacon. Maciej left for McMurdo and a replacement GA flew in.

But the highlight of the day was Vickie’s dive into the lake through the melt-hole. The main objective of her dive was to figure out whether the melt-hole diameter up-to its entire depth was large enough for the bot, and whether there were any jagged edges that could damage the bot or the fiber. We suspended an ice-axe for her which she used to chip away the rough surfaces. This makes her the first woman to dive in west lobe of Lake Bonney!

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Bill helps Vickie into her dive gear. Several layers and a complete body suit has to be worn to dive in water this cold.

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Vickie being lowered into the melt-hole.

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I fed "the umbilical" cord to Vickie. This cord is fed as the diver requests or as the feeder senses the diver's movements. The idea is to not feed too much because the diver can get tangled but not pull too much to restrict the diver's motions. The umiblical a safety line to pull the diver up. Chris hung an ice-axe suspended from a chord down which helped us assess the melt-hole diameter.

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Bart putting on the "syntactic foam" that adds buoyancy to the bot and allows it to hover.

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We use bungee cords to tie some of of our stuff to the front of the ATVs. In our hurry to get to work, we used a 'normal' cord instead which got tangled in the wheel of an ATV. At the end of the day, Jim and Bill figure out how the problem and get the cord out.

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2 Responses to Vickie takes the plunge

  1. Carla says:

    Glad you are better! I think I’d be terrified to dive into that hole!

    • sgulati says:

      It’s good to be able to talk, and work. Diving is terrifying for me anyway, but these guys perpare very carefully and do it. I am amazed.

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