Nick Andrews Blog Leg 1

August 11:

ROPOS being deployed at night. Credit: Nick Andrews, University of Washington, V22.

We are currently in transit to Axial Seamount which is about an 18 hour ride from our previous stop. The transit is a nice break from the non-stop ROPOS dives and has allowed us to catch up on other work and sleep. We took a tour of the bridge and ROPOS earlier today. It was interesting to hear about all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to operate the ship and ROV. In our bridge tour I learned that there are motion detector alarms that go off after 12 minutes of inactivity to make sure that somebody is always awake and on watch in the bridge.

August 9: We left Newport about 36 hours ago and it feels like everybody has slowly worked their way in to a routine.

Monitors in the ROPOS control center show navigation data and imagery of PN1B – note octopus on top of the Primary Node. Credit: J. Adams, University of Washington, V22.

Each student is on watch twice a day for 4 hours on and 8 hours off. I’m on watch with Hannah and Josie during the 12-4 block. I think all 3 of us are still trying to figure out our sleep schedules, thankfully there’s plenty of coffee to go around as we get adjusted. There’s a small gym onboard with cardio machines and a set of dumbbells which I’ve found helpful in tiring myself out if I’m having trouble sleeping.

Watching the ROPOS dives has been my favorite part of the expedition thus far. There’s no shortage of marine life during the dives and it’s impressive to watch the operators control the manipulators during maintenance tasks. I was impressed with how quickly they’re able to turn around ROPOS between dives. During one of dives we saw a white octopus that we named Casper living on one of the science instruments. Casper was very friendly and didn’t mind ROPOS performing renovations on his home.