Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The submarine briefing

Ok so I actually got to go inside Alvin several times in preparation for my dive. On my last visit inside I received a full briefing from one of Alvin's pilots Dave!

Now Dave actually spent 5 years with the Navy and in submarines! As soon as he got out he was immediately attracted to the idea of diving in the Alvin DSV so off he went to Woodshole Oceanographic Institute to get his training and become a member of the elite Alvin team.

Dave covered emergency procedures in the event of a fire or complete loss of power. He also went over Radio procedures and the T Bar. The T bar is the last resort and believe me your in for one heck of a ride if you have to resort to it. What it does is to basically release the almost seven foot diameter Titanium sphere from the frame of Alvin. You the begin your ascent and it can be like the inside of a washing machine as it tumbles on your way up to the surface! Unfortunately I missed out going down with Alvin but Mike deGruy went down twice!

However I have been promised that when the new Alvin is ready about 1 1/2 years from now I will be heading down inside it with a WHOI scientist named Tim Shanks.  I'm counting the days for that adventure!

Next post we'll talk with Mike and get his take on the Alvinn dives he took down to the bottom in search of the oil from the DEEPWATER Horizon spill!

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