What an amazing day. After spending the weekend getting prepared for the mission, going over our equipment and procedures, we departed Key Largo at 9:30AM. The team said good bye and wished us well. We dove down to Aquarius around 10:30 and navigated around the reef to get the lay of the land.
After our dive we entered Aquarius and started the long process of stowing our belongings and equipment. We then did another dive out to the North East limit of our allowable area. During this dive we checked our communication with Houston, Aquarius and each other. It was a very interesting experience to be in a beautiful coral reef in 90ft of water and talk to my crewmates in the water with me and Mission Control in Houston. The day went incredibly smooth and it's a credit to the large team of dedicated professionals who make NEEMO what it is. Aquarius is an amazing facility.
As I write this, I'm sitting at the galley table looking out the main view port at 100's of different species of fish of all sizes and colors. The Sun has set and the ocean is now dark. Schools of fish apparently attracted to the light of our habitat, are gathering at our view port. I feel as if I am the one inside the aquarium and the fish are curious as to what we're doing here. It's been a wonderful day, but a long day. I'm looking forward to my first night "sleeping with the fishes."