Thursday, August 19, 2010

Habitat Day 1 & 2

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 interesting. The giant groupers came by and were hunting right outside the viewport. Beds are surprisingly comfy with nice warm blankets. Passed out around 10.30pm.

To squeeze the most out of our workday, we need to start diving at 7am. Tried out the MH scrambled eggs and a cup of Tazo mint tea. Did a short gazebo run before we started our dive, the fish were frisky and expectant, but no errant bites. Would be best to be quick and go.

Finished up at the S4 site, then headed over to the ridge at 45ft. Steve thinks the French angels followed us down from the gazebo, probably not fed enough and expecting more...More hammering of bases ensue. Saw a couple of eagle rays and a turtle deep. And lots of cold water upwelling that plunged the temperatures by 10 deg F each time. Brrrrr....

Lunch was MH spaghetti with meat sauce, but now I feel like a gazebo run...Just that the ARB and Freedom Star crew are outside working and it's not too convenient to pop out to the gazebo now. Damn. Gotta time this better.

Almost done with the damn bases, which is good news for my abused fingers, and will be cable tying the next couple of dives. Over and out.

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