NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
5 Jan 1999
- Monterey; Coast Guard Pier
- 36.60889 -121.89111
- Sony ECM-55B
DAT # 7
Faint voices at beginning of tape
¿Disable thrusters.. laughter.. disable thrusters¿ ¿Screen is secure, vhf is here..¿ Testing two-way radio. Misc. banter.- extremely faint.
00:08:40 Opening the oxygen valve and just get very free and loose. Air valve ambi and Two-way radios.
00:10:39 Hatch squeaking shut.
00:10:44 OK, I¿m closed in and they¿re signaling that I should throw this hatch lever over, which I¿m doing. Bumping into the microphone as I go. We¿re in the right side.
00:10:58 Two-way radio voice- Now Alex if you¿ll read out 500 and 1000 on your..
00:11:02 They¿ve just closed the hatch, I `m here on the dock. [Ambi: Leaking air noise] We¿re at 500, we¿re at 1000.
00:11:40 VHF all right?
00:11:50 Yes, I have the VHF and running and we¿re at 1000.
Thank you now if you would set your O2 bellows please. Air hissing again.
Ok so I pull the bellows until I hear a hiss. And then I turn it back.
So I¿m here on the dock going through this preparatory work, there¿s a crane overhead and the sub is sitting right on the wooden boards on the dock with about 12 ft. down to water level. The cranes going to pick me up in a min and haul me over the side. There¿s a diver on the dock and he¿s going to go in to help us make any adjustments. And there a couple of lines. I feel it beginning to move and up we go. There a pop, an ominous pop.. (saying goodbye to Carolyn , Phil the designer, the astronaut) The crane is lowering us into the water, passing the level of the dock, people watching up above, sinking lower, seal has jumped in.
00:14:12 Ambi: Water sloshing sound, motor making sound in the water. Two-way radio asking for life support reading.
00:14:53 We¿re at about 900 pressure and the O2 reading is 20. High pressure is at 2100, low pressure at 100. Scrubber off. Scrubber¿s on. Cabin pressure is 900. High pressure 2100 low pressure is about 95. O2 is 19. Air is bubbling out of the air ballast chamber. Water is beginning to close around the dome. SO I¿m under water and water is closing around the top of the dome.
Two way radio voice asking Alex to close the soft ballast.
They want me to open the hard ballast¿ this is what¿s going to cause the sub to sink. Here goes. (Do you copy Alex?) I copy you the hard ballast is open. Water is closing around the dome. The submarine is still bobbing a little bit. Whew, I `m under water. I can see, I¿m sitting comfortably and I¿m breathing air, that¿s just amazing.
Ambi- Motor noises
00:18:13 Alex describing kelp and surroundings
Radio voice confirming thrusters etc¿screen is docked
Diver approaches and unhooks
Ambi: Metallic clanking noises
00:20:08 Thrusters enabled
00:20:33 Rotate to starboard.
Ambi:Whirring noises of turning sub. Moving into position to dive.
00:21:54 So I¿m bobbing along the surface because I¿ve let the air back in and I¿m maneuvering toward the jetty that¿s probably 20 ft. away.
Switching headsets flooding and diving. 00:22:37
Ambi: Lots of motor noises. Alex pushing pedals and diving. 00:24:49
00:25:30 Well it¿s water in front of me, that¿s what I see. It¿s a little dim, it¿s murky, it¿s distinctly green. I see the surface overheard. All silver and shifting around at the edges but right about blue sky.
00:26:51 There¿s a seal whipping back and forth in front of me. Green mossy seaweed and shells and sand¿ It¿s bright clear up above¿ The seals just come at you.. suddenly boom just pop into place.
Ambi: very loud motor sounds.. die down as Alex backs up.
00:30:37 Alex a little disoriented.
00:33:27 O2 19. Pressure at 1000. High pressure is at 2100 and Low pressure is at 100. How¿s Phil doing? Faint radio responses.
00:34: 36 Hello surface? I seem to be rising a little bit. I don¿t quite have neutral buoyancy.
Opening some valve. Talking to two-way radio voice. Turning sub- Whirring noises.
I managed to do it. I managed to settle on the bottom. I can see a starfish. A seal rolling by. (Turned off oxygen blower.) Looking for something to read. Bobbing around on the bottom.
00:36:58 This is Alex Chadwick¿. A series of This is Alex Chadwick¿ Openers.
00:38:31 Ok one of these pedals goes up and the other¿ I¿m six inches from the surface of the ocean floor in this harbor and the.. it¿s at 43 ft. Somehow the light is better here than it was before and I can actually see things and this is what Sylvia Earle has in mind with this kind of device because I see things well they are sea plants. Kind of a seaweed growing here¿. (describes starfish and little fish) But I can see this tuff up close it¿s a ft. away from me and I can watch it and see what¿s going on and see how the fish are interacting and I¿m here I¿m dry, I can make notes, I can talk into a microphone, I can report that the O2 is at 19¿(readings) and the submarine in a position, it¿s slightly canted forward. (Turns O2 scrubber back on.)
Lets scrubber run w/out narration.
00:42:00 Begins ascent, then descent.
00:43:33 Settled on bottom. Describes animals around at 40 ft.
00:45:47 At 42 ft. Drifting into rocks.
00:48:10 Reading O2.. etc Begins ascent
00:51:09 Here we go. Thruster enabled for ascent.
Ambi:noises of ascent
00:54:10 Two-way voice asks Alex to disable thrusters and dock the screen. (He does so.)
There¿s something so different about being down there and yet being here at the same time. That is being dry and warm and comfortable and breathing air and just looking around¿
(Most clear radio voice)
Ok, Alex if you would inject oxygen at the bellows to equalize your cabin pressure please.
Ambi: Loud pressurized air noises Radio voice-If you could pop the hatch a couple inches
00:58:50 Hi outside world! Opening hatch.