After ten days of underwater (and above water) work, we have completed all the tasks we set out to complete. In 23 dives, we installed 26 recruitment plates, 13 fixed frame sites, two current meters, five temperature loggers, and one conductivity meter. We are exhausted but energized by the experience, and we are already looking forward to the opportunity to come back to these beautiful channels to continue monitoring the sites we prepared and to offload data and swap out equipment. It can’t come soon enough.
Our pneumatic drill, which runs off of the compressed air from a scuba tank and down a long hose to 20m depth, is proving to be difficult to use in the extreme current. We push on and devise new gear for holding the air hose in place while we work so the drill doesn’t get carried away. In extreme conditions like this teamwork is key, and being able to communicate well underwater in a split second is crucial. This underwater communication gets better the more you dive with your dive buddies and after being in some tough situations with the current and the equipment, we have all become really good at understanding each other underwater, even with just a glance or a facial expression.
We begin day after day of diving and underwater drilling to install our equipment. The rain beats down and the currents are some of the strongest we have ever experienced but we remain in high spirits, making the best of our time in this breathtaking place.