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Friday, November 2, 2007: Chipper lost and found, Dayton's experiments and dynamite found!
November 2nd we drilled holes, chipped ice, ate lots of chocolate, chipped out our transducer holes, and fed the Hotsy every 4 hours - all the things we do every day here at New Harbor...

On the 3rd I was chipping out one of the transducer holes trying to get it clear enough to drop our positioning transducer down when, just like that, it slipped through my icy gloves right through the hole! I felt really stupid since we've been talking about how many people lose these 15 pound bars by not paying attention. I though I might be able to find the bar in the 132' water and possibly hook on to it with a simple hook if I could snag the wrist strap - the one that's supposed to prevent you from dropping it in!

See the hook? Think it will work?

On the 4th our Hotsy hole was just big enough for the VideoRay to fit through and I redeemed myself by attaching a hook to VideoRay and retrieving the ice chipper. It felt great to get it back!

Success! I hooked the chipper bar - several times...

I run VideoRay from my laptop and a small interface box in a case and use a game controller to drive. I setup the VideoRay PC control box on top of the Hotsy generator covered my self and the screen with a wool blanket to keep out some light and cold and stuck the VideoRay in the hole. We weren't sure it would fit all the way down the 18' hole and it did get a little stuck at the bottom but I got through and headed down the dark depths. After a minute or two I could see the bottom and barely turned around and caught a glimpse of something. The transducer hole was 20m (66 feet) from my dive hole and I had no problem seeing it. I drove over and, after some fiddling with the controls I managed to hook the strap. You know, the one that's supposed to keep you from dropping it. I was reminded about this a few times...
So I'm yelling at Bob to pull up on the tether while I have it snagged and he's not coming. After a few minutes of me snagging the strap and yelling for Bob to pull up I found myself stuck - somehow I was now stuck on the ice chipper... Bob was busy setting up the heater in the Scott tent and didn't hear me calling but he finally comes over and he starts pulling me up - WITH the bar! We get the bar out and find that the strap wound around the prop. Everyone was jumping up and down happy I found and retrieved the bar and I was kinda bummed I didn't get it with the hook. So Bob suggested I drop the bar back down and retrieve it with the hook like I planned. I wasn't even tempted and was very satisfied I had retrieved the bar I lost the day before.

The hook worked but the prop worked better!

So the day just kept getting better. After I searched for 3 hours looking for the lost experiments I needed a break from driving and let Nick take over. When he took over for me it only took a few minutes of driving before he was a very adapt and proficient pilot. He thinks all those hours playing video games finally payed off. After about 10 minutes Nick spots something and starts driving towards it.

Nick - expert pilot after 10 minutes of driving

Like a slap in my face, after I searched for 3 hours, he drives for 10 minutes and discovers the lost experiments of Paul Dayton! I teased Nick about this but it was all very exciting for us all since the odds were not that good at actually finding the lost experiments. This was it - one of the most ambitious goals of the project - to relocate the lost experiments using an ROV and we did it!

One of the first experiments we see with the scaling lasers lighting up and measuring a Crinoid

A lost floater found again

We spent the next three hours carefully mapping (by hand and by acoustic positioning system) and measuring (using the lasers) the various experiments, being extremely careful not to touch the delicate organisms with the VideoRay or its tether. This was very exciting since these had not been seen for 40 years yet very tiring since we had to be so careful.

But wait, there's more! As we continue searching and measuring I noticed something odd...

A left over tube of blasting gelatin used to blast dive holes in the ice!

Without a primer and in the cold water it's totally safe but still the perfect end to the perfect day - except it's not the end! We still have many hard hours of work to pack up the gear, haul it all back, rinse everything, back up the video and positioning data, make dinner, clean that up and get to bed around midnight.

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.