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IMAGE: Waterlab construction

Equipped with SCUBA gear, a NEEMO 7 crewmember participates in the re-assembly of the "Waterlab" structure on the sea floor.

*NEEMO 7 Journals
*Aquanaut Profile: Mike Barratt

NEEMO 7 Journals

NEEMO 7, Mike Barratt
Day 3, Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Mission 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.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 10/29/2004
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