Cable Repairs and Seamount Mapping
July 19, 2017

Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations were cancelled today while the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration engineering team initiated a herculean effort to repair the .68 cable. After power was lost to the vehicles yesterday, our ROV team spent the evening investigating the cause and found a short between the conductors, located 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) up the cable from the end terminated to the ROV. The short was likely caused by age and natural degradation, and unfortunately the damage can’t be repaired. The solution is to remove the length of cable up to and including the damaged section. Today, the ROV team used the entire day to plan and spool the cable off the storage drum, manually lay roughly 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) of cable onto the deck, and cut out the damaged section. By the end of the day, they were able to access the damaged section and test the remaining cable on the storage drum. The conductors and fibers were tested and found to be in acceptable condition for re-terminating and continuing operations. Tomorrow the team will re-terminate the wire to Seirios, conduct testing and be ready to dive the next day.

Meanwhile, the mapping team used the lemons (extra time they were given) to make lemonade. The added mapping time was used to further map the unnamed seamount to the west of “Keli” Ridge and to complete tests to improve the backscatter results of multibeam sonar.