ALTEX Arctic Cruise
October 7 - November 7, 2001
Tromso, Norway to the Arctic Circle
October 23, 2001: Day #17
Mike Pinto writes: The day began with much better weather conditions. The winds had dropped to 6 knots and the temperature had increased to a relatively warm -13 degrees C (9 degrees F). Today’s plan was to test the buoy launch system in open water.
While waiting for AUV operations to begin, we had a little excitement up on the bridge. First, we saw land for the first time in several weeks! Later in the morning, while tracking an unknown vessel 19 km (12 miles) off our bow, a Norwegian Fisheries aircraft flew overhead inquiring what we were doing in the area. Captain Visneski of the Healy responded saying that we had clearance to conduct scientific research. The pilot responded by saying that he would have to report our sighting. The vessel turned out to probably a fishing trawler
Back to AUV operations, an unsuccessful attempt was made to launch a real ice buoy. This would be the test leading up to deployment of under the ice. Upon reviewing the data when the AUV surfaced, it was discovered that the communications link between the buoy and the buoy launcher failed while the AUV was in the water. Without the link, a buoy would not eject. Late that evening, Jim and the team reviewed plans for the following day while Armen and Doug from SSI (the folks developing the buoy system for MBARI) began troubleshooting the buoy system.