are here: /main/research
5 - Canadians get pressurized
by Carlie Wiener
here to see where the Hi'ialakai is now.
here to see current data from the ship.
The boats which will be used for the daily scuba
diving excursions, Carlie Wiener.
Another day at sea begins, and it is becoming more apparent
that everyone is antsy and ready to get into the water. Tomorrow
will be the first day we will launch the dive boats as we
are expected to arrive at Pearl and Hermes Atoll later this
evening. The ship has four boats that it will deploy for
the research teams including one zodiac, one steel tow boat
and two jet boats. The planning for the dive trips is important
as it helps to inform the crew of the order to launch the
boats. This morning a few scientists including myself were
fortunate enough to be invited to practice using the decompression
Canadians take a ride in the decompression chamber to 60
feet, Derek Smith.
Three of us got to go into the chamber and descend
to 60 feet. It was really neat, as I have never been in one
and wanted to see how it felt. Surprisingly, you need to
clear your ears quite frequently, as the pressure is much
more noticeable in the chamber. It gets very warm when
they are bringing you to 60 feet, and then cool again on
the way up. It was quite funny when voices went Mickey Mouse
like while we sat in the chamber. The pressure in the decompression
chamber makes voices very high.
Operating the dive chamber and practicing safety
skills, Derek Smith.
This afternoon everyone on
the ship began to prepare their dive gear, rinsing in a solution
before depositing it into Monument waters. This is an essential
process as it is important that no foreign species are introduced
to the area. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is a pristine
area with an abundance of unspoiled coral reef, the smallest
introduction could cause potentially disasters consequences.
This is why the strongest precautionary measures must be
Cleaning and preparing the dive gear for tomorrows
excursions, Carlie Wiener.
For scientist to participate on the research expedition,
they must prepare an intensive research plan and fill out
permit applications. The applications are reviewed by the
co-trustees before anyone is given clearance to participate.
The scientist also must provide a health clearance and up
to date scuba diving certifications. In the evening, everyone
is found at the dive lockers preparing their equipment and
laying out their equipment and gear for tomorrow’s
dives. It is really important to be organized the night before
as the teams want to maximize their time out on the water.
Everyone heads to their quarters fairly early, as tomorrow
we embark on our first boat excursion in the Monument. From
the NOAA Ship Hi‘ialakai a hui hou!
here for maps of the region