We finally made it! We were officially saturated as of this morning, and are now full fledged aquanauts. Took a little while to get in yesterday, as the ARB crew were prepping the Habitat, so we hung out on the Research Diver and breathed in as much surface air as we could. Finally got the go-ahead at 12pm, and splashed in. This was my very 1st time inside the Habitat, so it was pretty cool stuff. Otter gave us the grand tour, ate our first packs of freeze-dried Mountain House gourmet entrees (I had the Chicken Polynesian), and set off for our first 5 hour dive to the Deep S4 site. With much efficiency (haha), we hammered in 80 bases, and cable tied on most of the cages, taking care to stay above 95ft. Came back with the fading twilight (no shiny vampires anywhere) to a hot shower and more MH goodness. If you're watching on the creepy mainlock cam, you'll think we are a bunch of pigs. We're always eating.
Not much nightlife here, though the 'live TV' was pretty inte…
We're done with training, and on our way to moving from Candidate status to fully fledged Aquanauts (only when we step through the wetporch and start the mission). The last two days have actually been relatively light, compared to the beginning of the week. Yesterday we were briefed on the living and working space within the Habitat, and did an orientation swim to our work sites. Only one mask off exercise while sharing air with our buddies, and not too long! Probably less than 10min.
Today the ARB crew carried out an emergency evacuation drill from the Habitat. We sat in the gazebo breathing 'oxygen' while the Habitat was on 'fire', and were all safely escorted to the surface and put on more 'oxygen'.
Up next- more mundane stuff. We have 160 Vexar cages to make, laptops to prep, clothing and gear to pack. One more drill on Tuesday, and in we go!
Read on Wild Singapore that the two front contenders for the Sentosa Integrated Resort (thereafter known as the IR, in the fondly cherished S'porean tradition of making acronyms out of everything...) have unleashed plans for mega aquaria in the IR, complete with living breathing whale sharks!
Now I like whale sharks as much as any other person, and I admit that I visited the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium to see the whale sharks there, but I have two thoughts about this:
1. Why another mega aquarium on Sentosa? Isn't the SENTOSA Underwater World already there?? Would there be enough critical mass to support TWO aquarium facilities on one puny 1/3-manmade island? Isn't there a real reef outside?
2. Okay, it seems my thoughts are splintering into many mini-thoughts, but still, to get back to the topic- Why whale sharks? I know the Okinawa facility seems to finally have success in keeping them alive and well, but it probably wasn't easy to get there, and they've had failures …