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> August 16, 2006
post Aug 21 2006, 02:28 AM
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Group: TREC Team
Posts: 27
Joined: 19-July 06
Member No.: 39

August 16, 2006

From midnight until 2:30 we worked on the cage. Mark tried his magic on the Bolt gun hoses. Every time that we had deployed the guns, within a couple of hours the air lines were leaking. Maybe his combination of taping and twisting the hoses would be the key to success. We put the cage in the water and I headed to bed.

For everyone involved in coring, it was a day to get gear ready for the next station and make sure that the cores were properly cataloged. Anatoly and Harm were making preparations for instrument collection from the ice once the seismic line was concluded. The watch standers continued 24 hours a day keeping the data log and maintaining the Knudsen and Seabeam. With the cage in the water, the Marine Mammal Observers were also working around the clock on the bridge.

I awoke at 7:45 with a call from Kevin. They were ready to bring the cage up for a check. By the time I was dressed and on the fantail, they had already brought the cage on and redeployed. Nothing needed to be fixed. No leaks. No loose bolts. Nothing. We had gone over five hours without a failure on the guns or cage of any type. With such a fast turn around on the cage, we could go right back to shooting all seven guns without having to go through the marine mammal ramp up procedure.

I headed up to aftcon to see if I could help since everything was in good shape on the deck. Mark had gone to bed, and Steffen was managing the gun controllers. I took mover for him and he headed down to the fantail. The compressors were not maintaining pressure, so I had to switch guns on and off to keep the pressure high enough to fire the guns properly. Steffen and Russell worked to keep the compressors running. Despite all their efforts, we could only maintain high enough pressure to use five guns instead of the seven that we preferred.

By 10:00 we were shut down to one gun due to a seal that was spotted by the Marine Mammal Observers in the contact radius. Within 5 minutes, the seal was out of range and we brought all the guns back online. By 11:00 it was clear that we would have to shut down the failing compressor and bring the reserve online. After lunch, we had three compressors going and still were having difficulty making enough air. At 1:00 we brought the guns back on deck. The only repair was on the air hose to gun number 1 that had developed a leak.

Even with the compressor problems we continued throughout the afternoon with six guns. We did our next check at 4:50, took time for dinner and made repairs on all three Bolt air hoses and secured the bolts on the GI guns. By 6:50 we had the cage back in the3 water. Larry said that he thought that we would continue to the end of the seismic line. That would take about 8 hours. Sometime tomorrow morning, we would be done with the seismic refraction line, and then we would send out the helicopters to recover the instruments on the ice.

We would continue working well past midnight.
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