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NEEMO 7
IMAGE: NEEMO 7 Mission Director Bill Todd
Equipped in SCUBA gear, William L. (Bill) Todd, NEEMO 7 mission director, prepares for a training dive.
RELATED LINKS
*NEEMO 7 Journals
*Aquanaut Profile: Mike Barratt

NEEMO 7 Journals

NEEMO 7, Mike Barratt
Day 2, Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Day Two in diving and training paradise. Everyone is working at breakneck pace to bring the myriad of details together to make this mission work: building hardware, taking measurements, nervously awaiting overdue shipments, testing network connections, training on experiments and serving as subjects for same. Grabbing chow on the fly, ordering in pizza, briefings on the couches in a small two bedroom condo - which now sleeps nine and accommodates countless transients - has become the routine. Sorta like campaign headquarters, but everyone's on the same page. The energy is palpable!

In the midst of this we had a couple of briefings from our dive master, Otter, and his twin Ross Hein (been everywhere, done everything) before heading once again out to Conch Reef for a pair of training dives. Today's menu included working the cave reels, which allow us to travel outbound along a fixed line for orientation and possibly to find our way back to a reference point or fixed excursion line should the visibility drop suddenly. We also practiced the ubiquitous “shutdown drills,” as well as buddy breathing and buddy swimming, all with and without masks. It's a little strange spending bulk time at depth sans dive mask, rather like sitting in a massive saline eye rinse. But like all else, it gets easier the more you practice.

S'pose I should give equal time to the local scenery amidst the work descriptions. The sea was nearly perfect today; gentle swells, impossibly blue water, and visibility such that you could easily make out the habitat and local gazebo looking down through the waves from the boat. As I remembered from the training dives last May, the reef is alive! We were treated to a terrific display of wildlife - fish, coral, magnificent sponges, and the biggest Baracuda I had ever seen! ("Yeah, that's about as big as they come, except when they get bigger...") If the visibility stays like this, about 60 plus feet, the mission objectives will that much easier.

9:45 PM: One more crew meeting and some administrative duties, as well as a call home to reaffirm that this really is work, and then some needed Z's. G'night.


Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 10/07/2004
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