WSW of Passage Island 2October 2 2014
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After the video ended, but before the computer shut down, we discovered that the tether was caught. I manoeuvred the ROV down a bit, to give some slack, then motored back up and it came loose. Just in time too! the computer battery then died. Phew!
There was a tangle of tether from the lengths that had floats on them. I suspect the floats made that particular tangle more likely to happen. It was a complex enough tangle that I decided to just cut the line.
When I see the Glass Sponge for the first time, I called it a coral. I couldn't see the screen very, well thanks to the bright sunny sky. But most importantly, I was expecting to see coral. In my last trip, I got some footage of what I thought was coral. Now I believe it was glass sponge but viewed only from below.
I later found maps of Glass Sponge reefs and one of them is right at the location of my last 2 trips. Pretty cool! Though if I'm being honest, I did have delusions of discovering some unknown species. :D Fueled by the lack of any information on coral of that likeness. That is because it is not coral silly! Doh!
Reef Building Glass Sponges (though not all glass sponges) were thought to have gone extinct 100 million years ago (according to naturalhistorymag.com/features/282622/glass-castles-in-the-sea ). In 1987 they were discovered in Hecate Strait and early in the new millennium they were found in the Georgia Straight (between Vancouver Island and the mainland). We now know that they have reefs from Alaska to Washington State. All of reefs from Vancouver to Alaska live in areas of shelter, but the Washington reefs live in open ocean. I know. Very exciting!
Slack tide did not turn out to be so slack. I attempted to compensate with the motor. As you can see from the track, it didn't really work out that great. The ROV was dragged slowly at a few points, but not fast enough for me to be sure that was the issue. I did have an problem, from placing the props on the wrong motors, causing the controls to turn side ways (on my keyboard). Even though I have had, and solved, this problem before, it took me a while to remember. oops.
We cruised around Passage Island looking at the houses, discussing how they seemed to deal with the power issue (as in no power) and explained how we would do it better (obviously). Then we considered where to launch the ROV from. I had intended to drop anchor, as I did the first time, and float out over the spot with the tidal current. According to my handy tide App, the tide was just finishing coming in and I figured we could get some good slack tide exploration going. Woot!
We screwed around setting things up and getting to depth for so long that my laptop battery died shortly after getting to depth. Still there is 17ish min in the video (I trimmed the lead up) I also cut out most of the 5 min when I reset the ROV to try and fix and issue. The video starts almost 4 min in, just before we first see bottom.
On my previous expedition near Passage Island, I found what I thought were corals. I had technical and biological difficulties, some of which have been addressed, and I wanted to get better footage. I also wanted to test the changes and repairs I made to the ROV.