The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has been supporting research in Canada for more than 20 years by providing scientists with state-of-the-art gear and facilities. The University of Victoria and Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) were recently involved in a new initiative that aims to get Canadian girls excited about science by introducing them to the amazing CFI-funded machines used to explore our world.
On 7 April, as part of the CFI’s Science Machines pilot initiative, ONC hosted a hands-on workshop with a local Girl Guide troupe to build their own miniature underwater robots, while learning how ONC uses remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to install and maintain its ocean observatories (Figure 1).
We are back in the office after nearly 3 weeks at sea aboard the University of Washington’s R/V Thompson. The team followed the Operations Plan that was set out over the last 6 months and achieved most of the planned goals. The weather co-operated perfectly for dive operations, resulting in no weather downtime. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) crew ensured that there was as little vehicle downtime as possible and was quick to resolve any problems subsea and on deck.
The evening of May 22, 2013 is fair and sunny. The seas are calm, and the atmosphere on board is cheerful. This afternoon, we finished the last tasks on the NEPTUNE Canada portion of the Ocean Networks Canada Installation and maintenance cruise. We are on the long transit back to Saanich Inlet to continue the last 2 days of work on the VENUS network. Thanks to the Tully crew and the ROV crew, along with all the cruise participants for making the operations a success!
Today marked the end of Leg 1 - servicing installations in the Salish Sea - wrapped up after a successful 10 days of operations. At 09:00 the newly arrived leg 2 crew stood in the sun on dock with the happy, but tired, leg 1 crew. We began loading our gear and instruments right away with the ship's crane and finished at 14:00. It took us until evening to rearrange it like a giant block puzzle and tie it all down. All those hours playing TETRIS finally paid off.
The CanPac ROV Team spent the day conducting maintenance on the Remotely Operated Vehicle and working through the various tooling required for leg 2.
After several months of “silence”, our instruments in the Strait of Georgia are alive again, with data streaming into the database, and out to users via the website.
According to Paul Macoun, “it was a short and intense cruise aboard the Oceanic Surveyor”. A small team of two from Ocean Networks Canada, and the crew of the Remotely Operated Vehicle Oceanic Explorer reinstalled instrument platforms at the Central and Eastern nodes in the Strait, and recovered three experiments from Saanich Inlet.
Ocean Network Canada’s Kim Juniper and Verena Tunnicliffe share their experiences studying the Endeavour hydrothermal vents in the April 19th Vancouver Sun article One of Earth’s Most Remarkable Places.
This story is the fifth of a six part special series on the "Health of the Ocean." The paper’s online publication has also compiled a photo gallery of this unique ecosystem located 250 km off Vancouver Island and over two km below the ocean’s surface.