Saturday 16th February

Throughout the day, the Isis ROV has continued to map the seafloor around the Beebe Vent Field. This is the first time that the ROV has been to a depth of 5 km since a recent rebuild, and the dive also provided an opportunity to check the vehicle's systems prior to our next dives collecting samples here.

Throughout the day we have also kept an eye on the weather forecast and the meteorological data recorded continuously by the ship. At just after 8 pm ship's time, the ROV began its ascent from the seafloor, earlier than originally planned. This should ensure that the vehicle is safely aboard before expected higher winds and seas arrive.

The wind and seas will not prevent us from using the CTD probe, however, so we are switching to a hydrographic survey of the deep ocean water and currents over the volcanic rift. That task should occupy us until the weather moderates and allows us to resume our ROV dive programme.

For a week we have had calm seas, stretching out to the horizon in a huge sparkling disk around us. But now we must check that all our equipment is properly secured for more lively seas tomorrow.

February 2013