with SCUBA gear, a NEEMO 7 crewmember participates in the re-assembly of the "Waterlab"
structure on the sea floor.
7, Mike Barratt
Day 3, Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Day Three, and another mass of new activity. We had lots of visitors today, one
aspect of our mission that is not very space-like. The comings and goings of divers
shepherding the large steel pots that bring our replacement gear and consumables
and remove trash is a daily occurrence. Today we also had the US Navy's finest
helping out to launch Bob and Cady in the dive suits. I will leave them to recount
their experiences; I can just say first hand that when we pulled their 43-pound
hats off, they were both smiling big. We saw our stalwart instructors, Otter and
Ross, among the transients as well, and we can only hope we're living somewhat
up to their expectations.
Cady and I got a start on constructing the infamous Waterlab today, the PVC monstrosity
that teaches us teamwork, ingenuity, and patience. So they tell us. Past crews
have noted frustration but have always ended by deeming it a worthwhile experience.
Doesn't seem difficult, just a lot of big plastic pieces. By the end of the dive,
we had found it surprisingly addictive, and did not want to stop. Sitting down
there on the sand patch, I think this will be our equivalent of that jigsaw puzzle
on the living room card table; it will be hard to pass by without wanting to stop
and fit a few pieces. You also can't help noting the local reef fish, one hogfish
in particular who feels that the best place to root in the sand is right in front
of my face while I am trying to match labeled pieces with my schematic. Another
mad dash in to keep to the timeline, another set of gall bladder removals, this
time without the robotic assist (I had the Cady assist).
Learning a lot from our Hab Techs, James and Billy, from the nuts and bolts of
running the habitat to their respective sea stories. They're savvy and laser-straight
in procedure and discipline, but also nutty and fun to live with. I am gradually
whacking out the scripting for the next adventure sitcom...
Oh yeah, the sleep and the coffee are still great.