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April 23rd, 2003; Leg 5, Day #3

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 0423w-drylab.jpg (61950 bytes)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. 

Debbie Meyer


0423w-rock.jpg (53779 bytes)


 

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.

 

 

0423w-sunset.jpg (52051 bytes)

 

 

 

A beautiful sunset ended the day.

 

 

 

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