Fragile Oasis

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Splashdown-6

Day 3 of training.  This morning we took our big team picture on one of the dive boats.  After that we spent some time with Otter and Ross going over some of the major safety and emergency stuff for the mission.  We also talked about the kind of things we can "pot" down with us.  Every time they send something down to us or bring something up to the surface they call it "potting"-- and they are actually using big, metal sealed pots to do it.  So we are kind of limited on the volume of stuff we can take down.  After the brief we went downstairs and played in the street with refreshing on compass navigation and how to use the special cave reels we'll have on our rigs.  Then we grabbed a quick bite to eat and off to the boat for another training dive. Today the temp warmed up a bit, but the wind is blowing so we had some "nice" chop to look forward to -- sea state was about 4-6' swells. Yee ha!

Once we were in the water it was great --no more of the bobbing and sloshing around on the surface. But the next thing to contend with was the "moderate" current of >
1 kt (doesn't sound like much, but let's just say at one point I had flashbacks of the 152 flying days with a headwind and watching traffic on the ground passing me...)  Anyhoo, safe to say I got a good leg work out on this dive. The drills we practiced on this dive were a lost diver search, swimming sharing air, and a milestone for me was the mask off shutdown drill!!  Another woo hoo for this one. Actually after all the practice I did in the NBL, it wasn't bad. We had a nice rolling ride home. Then we spent some time looking over all the hardware we'll be taking down with us for the science -- in the space program they call this a bench review -- really the last time you get to touch the hardware before you end up seeing it during your mission. It's gonna be fun!