Dan Tani, left, and Marc Reagan.
2, Marc Reagan
Day 2, Tuesday, May 14, 2002
I woke up cold
this morning. The bunk is about as wide as my shoulders (well, wider
than that, but not by much), and the hull wall curves right over
it. Sometime during the night I must have grounded myself against
the hull, which is a huge heat sink. I was NOT wanting to get up
this morning, but I knew my only chance at a computer connection
would be early so I reluctantly started the day.
The sea life
parade was outstanding today. Before staging out this morning, a
sea turtle decided to visit. He swam all around our home, and spent
considerable time outside the main viewport. They are my favorite
creature of the deep. They are so slow and majestic. Once Mike and
I got outside, Suni and Dan met us and stopped us to make sure we
looked underneath the habitat before proceeding. There was a nurse
shark close by, like a silent sentry. I saw more lobster and several
spotted eagle rays too.
of the day was to put distance tags on our main excursion lines
every 25 feet, and to check to quality of our communications back
with Houston, in four different orientations at each tag. The comm
difficulties from yesterday were still with us, and it quickly became
apparent that we were never going to get the task done as envisioned
in the time allotted. We decided to continue tagging every 25 ft,
but to only do the comm test every 100 ft. We had to end the dive
after getting only about 450 feet tagged on a line that goes out
about 1000 ft. It makes our first good test case for the support
team in Key Largo and in Houston to replan based on mission priorities.
At noon today,
the other big milestone occurred: we officially became aquanauts.
Not "certified trained as aquanauts," not "wannabe
aquanauts," but real aquanauts. Welcome to a pretty exclusive
club. In case you were wondering, there is no door prize, but the
job benefits are outstanding. Technically, the term aquanaut is
limited to those who stay underwater for 24 hours or more.
Also, at lunch
we had a little brevity. We have four methods of communication down
here: a cell phone, which is expensive and to be used sparingly,
a Polycom system for doing videocons (over the internet and using
ISDN lines from the shorebase), PCs with Netmeeting (over the internet),
and a direct phone to the watch desk (like a "bat phone.").
So we're all preparing our lunch and the cell phone rings, which
shouldn't happen, because, after all, who has the cell number? Ryan
answers it and here's roughly what we hear: "Hello?... No,
I'm sorry, you've reached an undersea habitat... Yeah, like under
the sea... Oh yeah, we're living down here for nine days... Uh huh...
You can check out our web site... " We were in stitches. Ryan
was so polite and patient. Turned out is was a legal secretary looking
all for now. Tomorrow we start our construction tasks. That ought
to be fun, as well as more challenging and a test for our diving