May 11, 2009

Farewell Samoa

To Fa Soifua or farewell to Apia Samoa
We have departed Samoa and are underway to explore the two volcanoes, West Mata and the Northeast Lau spreading center. They say time is relative and that is true in Samoa. To leave the harbor we need to hire pilots to steer the ship. Although we were scheduled for 8am, they arrived at 9am. We departed and our pilots have left us. Our next task for this day is to fine tune our navigation so that we can track our robot (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) Jason-2 and our autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) D. Allan B. We are about to do this now. We will place a sound beacon (transponder) on the seafloor and will then talk to it from the ship, whose position is derived from satellites. We then talk to our beacon while driving a pattern with the ship. This information allows us to determine where the beacon is. After some fancy mathematical calculations have been completed, we will be able to track Jason-2 and D. Allan B using beacons (transponders attached to the vehicles).