VISIONS 23 Live Video

Image of the Day

A rat tail fish visits the ROV Jason in 2023 at the summit of Axial Seamount while the ROV is taking a temperature measurement. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI, V23 Dive J2-1546.

Daily Blog

Best Laid Plans

The Regional Cabled Array, spanning the Cascadia Margin and Juan de Fuca tectonic plate and water depths of ~260 ft to 9500 ft, is an engineering marvel. It is the most advanced underwater observatory in the oceans comprised of >900 km of high power- and -bandwidth submarine

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Calendar of Events

September 20th, 2023 11:26 local (Pacific): The Thompson arrived in Newport on the 18th at 1500 local time, ending Leg 4. Demobilization began on the 19th and was completed and clear of the NOAA dock by 1330 local time. All trucks are now fully loaded up and headed north to the University of Washington, bringing the Regional Cabled Array Summer 2023 field season to a close. Check out the photo galleries and biology catalog for updates as we process the data from the cruise!

September 18th, 2023 12:56 local (Pacific): The last dive of Leg 4 (J2-1562) surveyed the seafloor at Slope Base to locate and mark a cable for potential recovery in 2024. Jason was back onboard early this morning, and the Thompson is currently headed for the Y buoy outside of Newport, with an ETA at the NOAA dock of ~1500 local time.

September 17th, 2023 11:38 local (Pacific): After the successful recovery of a PI project called COVIS (an acoustic instrument used to image hydrothermal vent fluid) during dive J2-1561 at ASHES vent field, the Thompson is now on its way to the Slope Base (2900 m) site, where Jason will conduct a seafloor survey (ETA: ~2100 local time).

September 16th, 2023 18:50 local (Pacific)Jason was launched (18:37 local) on the third dive of the day.  J2-1560 will exchange CTDs in Eastern Axial Caldera.  This dive is estimated to take a little over 4 hours. 

September 16th, 2023 12:30 local (Pacific): Jason is just about to dive to collect more fluid samples. This time at Marker 113, a diffuse flow site we don’t often get to visit.

September 16th, 2023 06:30 local (Pacific): We have arrived back at Axial Seamount and are preparing to dive in the International District hydrothermal vent field. Our goal for this dive will be to collect fluid samples from the vent to be analyzed for microbes and viruses.

September 15th, 2023 14:56 local (Pacific): The extension cable swap was successful, the Deep Profiler vehicle at the OR Offshore site (600 m) is operating and able to profile, and the verification CTD cast was completed this morning. The Thompson is now headed back to Axial Seamount, where we will attempt to finish up some PI work in the last few dives of Leg 4. ETA at Axial is ~0400-0500 local time tomorrow and Jason will dive at Tiny Towers in the International District vent field shortly after that!

September 15th, 2023 06:30 local (Pacific): The Thompson arrived at the Endurance Offshore site at around 0100 this morning. Jason was deployed shortly after arrival(0215) for dive J2-1557. An extension cable was connected to the Deep Profiler docking station and a complete connection was established, allowing the Profiler to ascend and descend the wire. After confirming that the Deep Profiler is fully operating, a verification CTD will be performed.  

September 14th, 2023 11:00 local (Pacific): The Thompson began the transit from Axial Caldera to Endurance Offshore at 0620 this morning. A series of electrical malfunctions and their subsequent resolutions have significantly reduced the time available for dive opportunities at Axial Caldera. The Thompson should arrive at Endurance Offshore at around 0030 tomorrow morning.

September 13th, 2023 07:13 local (Pacific): Jason is currently in the water completing dive J2-1555, the exchange of a CTD  at Axial Caldera. The exchange is complete, and Jason is just leaving the caldera and  beginning the 1500 m ascent to the surface.  

September 12th, 2023 16:30 local (Pacific): Jason is currently out of the water and preparing for our next dive, likely starting around 2000. Meanwhile, we are doing a CTD cast to verify the instruments on the deep profiler vehicle that was just deployed.

September 12th, 2023 09:55 local (Pacific): Jason is starting a dive now to swap the wire crawler vehicle at the Axial Base Deep Profiler Mooring. We will be diving to around 2900 m water depth.

September 11th, 2023 16:00 local (Pacific): We have swapped the wire crawler at the Slope Base Deep Profiler Mooring and completed a verification CTD. We are now on our way to Axial Base. We anticipate arriving around 0900 tomorrow. Once onsite we will swap the wire crawler at the Deep Profiler Mooring there.

September 10th, 2023 12:30 local (Pacific): After a short delay, re-deployment operations for the Deep Profiler have resumed.  The weather continues to be optimum for this particular task.

September 10th, 2023 10:15 local (Pacific): Re-deployment operations have been suspended for the moment after the discovery of some issues with the cable for the Deep Profiler Mooring.  

September 10th, 2023 06:35 local (Pacific): Final preparations are under way for the re-deployment of the EA Offshore Deep Profiler Mooring. The deployment will begin around 0800 this morning.

September 9th, 2023 11:46 local (Pacific): We are in the process of recovering the EA Offshore Deep Profiler Mooring. This will take most of the day to do and involves a significant amount of deck work compared to our other operations.

September 8th, 2023 13:08 local (Pacific): Yesterday the shore crane arrived at 0700 to begin demobilization from Leg 3. We first cleared the back deck, and then started bringing the Leg 4 gear aboard. Once loading was complete, personnel began rigging the A frame, prepping the winch, and testing the Deep Profiler docks and vehicles. The Thompson is now set to depart Newport ~2000 and should be onsite at EA Offshore (600 m depth) around 0100 tomorrow to launch Jason and unplug the mooring.

September 6th, 2023 11:06 local (Pacific): The weather has been stellar, so we had a much smoother and faster transit than when we left Newport to start Leg 3 (which everyone appreciated). We’re currently approaching the Y buoy and the Thompson should arrive in plenty of time for our port call at the NOAA dock at 1800.

September 5th, 2023 18:52 local (Pacific): Today was nonstop, trying to complete operations that had been delayed by weather and technical issues: we completed the International District camera and fluid sampler deployment (J2-1546) at 1310 local time, and then moved to ASHES and launched the ROV again at 1400 to complete a quick CTD instrument swap (J2-1547). It was very tight timing, but the last dive of Leg 3 was successful and Jason was back on deck by 1800 in time for us to start our long transit back to Newport! We should arrive at the Y buoy around 1700 tomorrow.

September 5th, 2023 01:15 local (Pacific): We just successfully swapped the fluid sampler/particulate DNA (RAS/PPS) sampler and are preparing to dive back to International district 1 to swap a camera and hydrothermal vent fluid sampler (TRHPH).

September 4th, 2023 13:15 local (Pacific): Medium power junction box MJ03D was successfully swapped at International District 2, and we are now prepping the fluid sampler/particulate DNA (RAS/PPS) instrument for deployment at International District 1. Jason should launch by 1400.

September 4th, 2023 06:00 local (Pacific): Jason just started dive J2-1544, which will dive International District 2 to swap the medium powered junction box (MJ03D) there.

September 4th, 2023 02:23 local (Pacific): Jason is reterminating the tether, once complete dives will resume.

September 3rd, 2023 15:19 local (Pacific): Jason just started dive J2-1543, which will go retrieve the Axial Base (2600 meters water depth) HPIES-2023, move it over to the 2022 deployment site and swap out the HPIES instruments. 

September 3rd, 2023 11:27 local (Pacific): We finished the 2nd FETCH download and headed back to Axial Base, arriving around 0900 local time. Conditions looked good for a dive, so we prepped and launched the HPIES instrument over the side to free-fall to the seafloor. Jason is currently holding to investigate a fault, but will attempt another launch after lunch.

September 3rd, 2023 06:09 local (Pacific): Overnight weather checks determined that it was still too unsettled to dive, so we have been remotely downloading data from a set of seafloor sensors called "FETCH tripods" (which use acoustic links to measure deformation of the seafloor across Axial Caldera). One download is complete and we are in the midst of the second. The weather continues to improve, so we’ll head back to Axial Base and do another dive check after breakfast (~0800).

September 2nd, 2023 21:52 local (Pacific): The conditions have finally improved enough to begin operations at Axial Base! We are starting with a deep verification CTD cast near the Deep Profiler Mooring, and then we will reassess the weather around midnight to see if it’s safe to begin diving.

September 2nd, 2023 18:18 local (Pacific): Unfortunately, the high winds and unpredictable swell are making it hard to hold position, and too hazardous for Jason dives or even CTD casts. We’re currently waiting to reassess the weather at 1900, after which we will either launch the CTD or head north to try to download data from a seafloor acoustic tripod (FETCH).

September 2nd, 2023 12:00 local (Pacific): The Thompson will arrive at Axial Base in a few hours. Because weather is "iffy" to dive, the current plan is to conduct a ‘naked’ dive with Jason, hold a 2023 CTD-O2 instrument in its manipulators to turn a CTD-O2 instrument installed in 2022.

September 1st, 2023 16:15 local (Pacific): The Thompson left the NOAA dock in Newport at 1420 local time, and we’re now on our way to Axial Base (2600 meters)! We should arrive around 1400 tomorrow (2 September).

August 31st, 2023 12:18 local (Pacific): Due to weather considerations, we have postponed our departure date. The new plan is to leave the dock at ~1400 tomorrow (Sept. 1st).

August 31st, 2023 09:27 local (Pacific): Yesterday morning we offloaded all of the Leg 2 recovered infrastructure, and loaded all of the gear for Leg 3. We are set to leave Newport ~1400 today, and we will head straight for Axial Base. Hopefully we’ll have a weather window that will allow for deployments.

August 29th, 2023 16:23 local (Pacific): All of our tasks were successfully completed early this morning, and we arrived back in Newport to end Leg 2 around 12:30 local time. Now we have a quick turnaround to offload gear and reload the back deck for Leg 3, which starts on the 31st!

August 28th, 2023 18:35 local (Pacific): We’re back at Southern Hydrate Ridge after a successful BEP swap, and Jason should go back in the water for an osmosampler deployment and a site survey (J2-1542) at 1900.

August 28th, 2023 14:52 local (Pacific): Jason (J2-1541) is finishing up work at the Oregon Offshore site to turn the Benthic Experiment Package. There are abundant sable fish in view.

August 28th, 2023 11:03 local (Pacific): The Jason team is still reconfiguring cameras and conducting some tests in order to enable latching into the BEP, so we’ll launch after lunch, ~1200.

August 28th, 2023 09:40 local (Pacific): Overnight, the Jason team and the engineers from MARUM were able to recover all of their gear on two dives! J2-1539 was a quick dive to grab the sonar tripod, and J2-1540 was back on deck with the other instruments around 0800. So we are now heading to the OR Offshore (600 m) site to swap out the Benthic Experiment Package (BEP). Jason should be back in the water around 1100.

August 27th, 2023 20:30 local (Pacific): After the camera swap, we paused to let everyone eat dinner and then resumed operations with dive J2-1538, which will swap out three uncabled fluid samplers and recover a piece of sonar equipment deployed by MARUM (University of Bremen, Germany). We also had a visit from some whales who were feeding very close to the ship!

August 27th, 2023 13:05 local (Pacific): The medium-powered junction box (MJ01B) turn was successful, and Jason just went right back into the water (dive J2-1537) with a digital still camera (CAMDSB103) in the undervator. The new camera will be connected to the new junction box and swapped out with the old one.

August 27th, 2023 07:22 local (Pacific): We arrived at Southern Hydrate Ridge on schedule (~0600) and the ROV just launched on dive J2-1536, which will swap out junction box MJ01B. Then there will be a series of instrument swap dives, all at the same location. 

August 26th, 2023 13:10 local (Pacific): Jason successfully completed dive J2-1534 at 0825 local time, and we were preparing to head to Southern Hydrate Ridge (SHR) when we received a call for assistance from the R/V Rachel Carson (MBARI). They needed help recovering a mapping AUV that was stuck at 40 meters depth at a nearby site in Axial Caldera. We coordinated tracking of the vehicle and launched Jason at 1129 local time, attached flotation to the AUV, and confirmed that MBARI was able to recover it. Once Jason was back aboard and secured (1155 local time) we resumed our transit to SHR. ETA: ~0600 tomorrow.

August 25th, 2023 22:11 local (Pacific): Dive J2-1534 just launched to swap out the HD video camera and an uncabled osmosampler at ASHES vent field in Axial Caldera. The ROV should be on bottom around 2330 local time.

August 25th, 2023 19:18 local (Pacific): Jason dives J2-1532 and J2-1533 successfully completed our operations at Axial Base, and both of the new Shallow Profiler packages have been deployed. We are now steaming towards ASHES vent field in Axial Caldera, where we will launch dive J2-1534 (between 2030 and 2100 local time) to swap out the HD video camera and an uncabled osmosampler.

August 25th, 2023 13:32 local (Pacific): Jason dive J2-1532 is underway  to deploy a new PIA and recover the Science Pod Assembly (SPA) platform (minus the science pod)

August 25th, 2023 11:46 local (Pacific): The Axial Base Shallow Profiler Platform Interface Assembly (PIA) is back aboard, and we are prepping for the next dive (J2-1532). Jason will launch after lunch and deploy a new PIA and recover the Science Pod Assembly (SPA), minus the pod that we brought aboard earlier.

August 25th, 2023 09:47 local (Pacific): The cable cutting (using a hydraulic bandsaw on the front of the ROV!) and small boat operation were a success, and the profiler pod is secured aboard the Thompson. Jason is now back in the water on dive J2-1531 to recover the profiler Platform Interface Assembly (PIA) from the Axial Base Shallow Profiler.

August 25th, 2023 08:04 local (Pacific): We arrived at Axial Base right before 0400, and launched a CTD rosette to collect verification water samples. After CTD recovery, Jason launched dive J2-1530 to cut the EM cable of the profiler pod (which had been stuck at 40 m below the surface). The cut was completed right before 0800, and the ROV is now on the way back to the ship. Once it’s secure, we’ll launch the small boat to go pick up the profiler pod, which is now bobbing on the surface off the port side of the ship.

August 24th, 2023 19:04 local (Pacific): The weather is excellent, and we are making good time towards Axial Base. New ETA is 0400 tomorrow.

August 24th, 2023 08:25 local (Pacific): The Thompson left the dock at 0700 on the dot, and we are now steaming towards the base of Axial Seamount! We should arrive around 0500 on Friday, at which point we’ll conduct a CTD cast and then the first dive of Leg 2 (to start the Shallow Profiler swap).

August 23rd, 2023 22:32 local (Pacific): Demobilization of Leg 1 and mobilization for Leg 2 have been completed, including a personnel swap, arrival of eight new VISIONS students, and a quick crane turnaround to offload Leg 1 infrastructure and load the gear for Leg 2. The engineering team completed some initial instrument testing this morning, and the Thompson is prepared for departure tomorrow (8/24) at 0700 local time.

August 22nd, 2023 14:05 local (Pacific): Jason dive on PN1D is completed, Jason is on deck, and the R/V Thompson is steaming to the "Y" buoy near the entrance of Yaquina Bay. Arrival at Newport dock is at 17:00.

August 22nd, 2023 11:11 local (Pacific): Jason (Dive J2-1529) is in the water…will reach bottom very shortly.

August 22nd, 2023 10:52 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1529 will soon be underway at the RCA Primary Node PN1D at 150 m water depth. This will be a survey dive and pilot training dive for a couple hrs. Should be a lot of life on the node.

August 22nd, 2023 08:32 local (Pacific): Retermination by the Jason team went smoothly and dives were resumed earlier than anticipated.  Dive J2-1527, turning of the Zooplankton Sonar and J2-1528, turning the BEP at the Oregon Shelf site were both accomplished by 08:30 this morning. 

August 21st, 2023 15:32 local (Pacific):  Jason will reterminate the tether (~8 hrs) and dive at the Shelf again at 0400 August 22.

August 21st, 2023 14:49 local (Pacific):  Jason lost power on the 80 m dive (J2-1526) and the dive was aborted at the Shelf Site.

August 21st, 2023 13:39 local (Pacific): The Jason engineering dive went well and the R/V Thompson arrived back at the 80 m Shelf site a few minutes ago. The APL team is moving equipment around on the deck for deployment and in ~ 30 minutes Jason will go in the water with the zooplankton platform (Dive J2-1526).

August 21st, 2023 09:10 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1525 is underway. This will likely be a quick dive to 300 m. Then the Thompson will transit to the Shelf Site to turn platforms there.

August 21st, 2023 08:37 local (Pacific): Jason will go into the water at 0900 for Dive J2-1525.

August 21st, 2023 08:26 local (Pacific): Jason is doing a predive check for dive J2-1525, an engineering dive to test the vehicle at 300 m. The R/V Thompson is getting in position, the Expedition Leader is double checking the seas. Hoping to go in.

August 20th, 2023 15:36 local (Pacific): The R/V Thompson did a quick run to the buoy off Newport, and is now heading to a dive site at 300 m water depth to do a test dive with Jason (J2-1525), in about 2 hrs (25 nm). Following the test dive, the plan is to come back to the Oregon Shelf site and turn the BEP, Zooplankton and clean the camera, weather and visibility dependent.

August 20th, 2023 08:33 local (Pacific): We are stillllllll on weather hold. Crossing fingers the seas will behave soon.

August 19th, 2023 19:55 local (Pacific): Sustained winds of 30 knots have kept us on a continued weather hold today.  We’ve kept busy prepping gear and labs for the upcoming Leg 2 and 3 work, with some time out for dolphin and whale-watching.  We will re-evaluate weather tomorrow morning, hoping for a window to complete the Jason test dive and continue work at the Oregon Shelf site.

August 19th, 2023 08:55 local (Pacific): The winds are still up and the seas are ‘messy’, so we are still on a weather hold at Southern Hydrate Ridge.

August 18th, 2023 18:51 local (Pacific): A day of troubleshooting and transiting has brought us back out offshore, now to the Southern Hydrate Ridge site.  Jason is ready to go in the water for testing and the survey dive, but wind is currently blowing 30 knots and we will remain on a weather hold through the night and re-evaluate conditions in the morning.

August 18th, 2023 13:41 local (Pacific): The Jason team is troubleshooting the vehicle to find out the source of the power failure, so we are on hold. The R/V Thompson is steaming to Southern Hydrate Ridge to be ready for a "naked" dive, when the vehicle is ready. The dive will be a survey dive, so great scenery and lots of life to look at.  

August 18th, 2023 10:03 local (Pacific):  Jason went into the water at 0936 for a naked dive (Dive J2-1524) to clean the digital still camera. There was a short loss of power. We are waiting for swells to decrease to turn the BEP and Zooplankton sonar at this site

August 18th, 2023 7:30 local (Pacific):  The attempt to dodge the weather fronts continues out here.  After two successful dives at Slope Base to deploy the Shallow Profiler science pod and turn the seafloor junction box, we  steamed back to the Oregon Shelf station with the hope of diving in a weather window.  But alas, the seastate has increased and we are currently on hold to evaluate conditions at 08:30.

August 17th, 2023 10:30 local (Pacific):  Jason is back in the water for Dive J2-1522 to install the Science Pod on the mooring. Following this, weather permitting, we will turn the low power junction box LJ01A at 2900 m. It will be a long dive (~ 8 hrs) and, as always, we are hoping to see our old friend "weird fish" again.

August 17th, 2023 08:51 local (Pacific):  We are diving at Slope Base, just completed Dive J2-1521 with the installation of the Platform Interface Assembly and recovery of the Science Pod. Jason will go back in the water to install the 2023 pod.

Last night, the currents were very strong and seastate rough so operations were called following the recovery of the PIA.

August 16th, 2023 15:20 local (Pacific): The Thompson is just about on station for the CTD cast (CTD0002) to ~ 2900 m. Students are anxiously awaiting its return as they are shrinking cups – stay tuned.

August 16th, 2023 12:35 local (Pacific): Once all is secured on deck, the R/V Thompson will transit ~ 3 hrs to the Slope Base site to 1) take a full water column CTD (2900 m), 2) turn the science pods during a series of three dives (starting with dive J2-1519); and 3) turn the low power junction box LJ01A. This will make the best use of the weather, which is predicted to blow up a bit again in the next 3 days.

August 16th, 2023 12:30 local (Pacific): Jason has just been recovered after completing Dive J2-1518, turning the Digital Still Camera at EA Offshore.  

August 16th, 2023 07:00 local (Pacific): Throughout the night and into the early morning,  Jason has been completing a series of dives here at the Oregon Offshore site.

Dive J2-1516, & 1517, the exchange of the Shallow Profiler Science Pods  were successfully completed at 01:47 and 05:18 respectively, this morning.  

After a short transit to LV01C, Jason was back in the water at 06:50 for Dive J2-1518, turning the Digital Still Camera at the Offshore site.

August 15th, 2023 23:45 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1516 –After successfully recovering the Shallow Profiler Platform, Jason latched into the replacement Platform and resumed diving to complete the exchange. 

August 15th, 2023 22:54 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1515 – After completing the necessary modifications to the latching mechanism and follow-on deck testing, Jason resumed diving to recover the Oregon Offshore 200 m Shallow Profiler Platform and will soon be back on board to  exchange it for the 2023 Platform for deployment.

August 15th, 2023 17:07 local (Pacific): Jason worked on the latching mechanism and tested it on a Shallow Profiler Science Pod: one of the latches did not stay engaged. Dives are on hold until this issue is resolved.

August 15th, 2023 12:43 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1514 – The latching mechanism on Jason is not working, preventing it from securing the Shallow Profiler Platform Interface Assembly beneath the vehicle. The vehicle will be recovered.

August 15th, 2023 10:06 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1514 is ongoing. We have been doing some "fly arounds" close up of the Shallow Profiler platform awaiting sea conditions to be a bit better before recovering the PIA platform. This time was a gift to take great video of the platform and the life that thrives there. The seas have improved and the vehicle will shortly recover the PIA.

August 15th, 2023 08:54 local (Pacific): Jason is just beginning Jason Dive J2-1514 at the Oregon Offshore Site. During the night the controller was fixed as was the winch. Seastate is still a bit "rolly polly" so Jason will go down and image the profiler platform and assess conditions. The hope is to recover the Platform Interface Assembly.

August 14th, 2023 18:55 local (Pacific): Jason is coming up as there is an issue with the controller and one with the level wind.

August 14th, 2023 17:59 local (Pacific): Jason Dive J2-1512: Dive is underway. Pilots are troubleshooting the control system for the vehicle and will then clean and place the digitall still camera upright.  

August 14th, 2023 15:11 local (Pacific): The TGT arrived on station at the OR Shelf site in fairly calm seas. Jason Dive J2-1512 will go in the water at ~ 1600.

August 14th, 2023 08:20 local (Pacific): Yahoo, we will be departing at ~1315 and head out to the Oregon Shelf site at 80 m water depth. It is a short steam of ~ 1 hr. The first Jason dive (J2-1512) will be to test the Jason winch and to clean and upright the digital still camera.

August 12th, 2023 17:05 local (Pacific): After an interesting day of transporting the final team members to the Thompson, all are on board. Unfortunately, the weather gods are not too happy right now, so we will be on a weather hold tomorrow at the NOAA dock and will reevaluate conditions tomorrow. The time will be well spent with a safety meeting, orientation in the Jason control van, and cruise-look ahead meetings.

August 11th, 2023 15:24 local (Pacific): All Leg 1 OOI-RCA platforms and instruments have been loaded on the back deck of the Thompson. A few more crane operations are planned for tomorrow and then VISIONS’23 can get underway!

August 8th, 2023: The cruise is fast approaching. On Monday our logistics depot opened in Newport thanks much to Larry Nielson, lead for this effort. Six 48 ft trailers arrived at the depot for Legs 1 and 2. 143,000 lbs of equipment ready to go.

July 28, 2023: The VISIONS’23 expedition site went live today. Please view the new gallery to explore the amazing environments that we will be visiting this summer. 

July 18, 2023 10:25 local (Pacific): The RCA Team is finalizing testing and integration of moorings, junction boxes and instruments for installation during the upcoming expedition – August 11-September 20, 2023 onboard the R/V Thompson using the remotely operated vehicle Jason