Late into the night, the pilots worked hard
to repair damages caused by an apparent hydraulic system failure that the ROV
Tiburon experienced in the last dive. After taking the vehicle
apart, it became clear that the problem was more severe than anyone
realized. The broken hydraulic system had allowed seawater to circulate
throughout the ROV wiring and hydraulic tubing, wrecking havoc on its
electronics and fundamental components. The pilots' efforts continued
today as they were forced to take apart much of the ROV, replace
parts with spares, fabricate new parts, flush the hydraulic system, and
check every subsystem. Chief Pilot
Buck Reynolds and his team—Paul
Tucker, Dave French, Jim
Cohen, and Buzz Scott—worked
nearly non-stop throughout the day.
The science team took the halted operations
in stride. Some of the scientists spent the day processing samples from
the previous day's dive and setting up equipment in anticipation of the
next dive. Others took the opportunity to read journal articles, work on
manuscripts, or analyze data files on the computer (see above).
By dinnertime, we were all cheered by news
that Tiburon had been powered-up successfully. The pilots have
spent the rest of the evening finishing up and getting ready to dive first
thing tomorrow morning.
Carbonate rock sample collected during yesterday's dive. The shell fragments of seep clams are captured in this solid rock matrix, suggesting that this rock formed in a gas-venting environment. This is a classic example of a methane-derived carbonate cement.
A beautiful sunset ended the day.