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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
29 Jun 2001

  • United States
    Monroe County
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • 24.6567639   -82.9508194
  • 0 meters
    Recording TimeCode
  • 4:25 - 1:10:01
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • Decoded MS stereo; Neumann RSM-190 through Sonosax preamp into Sony TCD-D8

Show: Dry Tortugas
Log of DAT #: 3
Engineer: Leo del Aguila
Date: June 29, 2001

Christine Addison
Jeff Judas (J)
Erik Eilers
Craig (Craig)
Alex Chadwick (Alex)
Leo del Aguila (Leo)

0:00:00 Leo: Ok, this is dat number three, same set up, MS ... -I am just recording them pulling out the camera

0:00:50 ambient noise of people in background setting up equipment ... how much cable do you want ...on this cable that runs across the dat, I'll just put this in that...

0:02:00 Ok, go ahead. (... discussion of what to do first. .. ) do you guys want to bring the transducer out first or do you want to launch the monarch. would rather get the transducer on first.

2:35 sounds like driving, ambi -noise getting closer, fading, chatting in background around 3:30 but very faint

4:15 fog horn-type sound (boat engine? drones steadily throughout the next few minutes)

4:23 getting ready to lift the boat from the deck of the main ship here onto the water. (ambi noise of maybe some sort of hydraulic lift. Horn (motor?) noise in the background constantly.)

5:05 ambi -more of this moving ... hissing noise of lift?

5:25 worker: ok, here we go now, get ready

5:30 -7:00 intermittent hissing sound as equipment lifted. faint noise of workers in background. All through this low deep (almost like the down tone of a fog horn) sound, which must just be the boat engine

7:07 workers: ...take Eric's line ...

8:00 more of the same -droning noise steady, hissing at 8:13, voices very faint in background.

8:31 chatter...Ok, Mom. laughter. .. oh chief, it's you... is this fella going ...yes... I am going, all ofus are going (banter)

9:00 worker: let me give you a hand there in case you slip ...9:20 -that's it
9:30 woman voice: is there a Nalgene bottle back there by the engine? .. discussing water bottles

9:45 see my booties? I got the points, babe... you got it? .. you need to sit down

10:00 ambi noise of boat propeller

10:10 LdA: the gear is very expensive ... I'm Eric, I'm Leo ... discussion of who will sit where .... introduction of Jeff and Leo

10:51 Craig: we're putting in our coordinates in our GPS so we can go right to the spot and drop down, hopefully on that manta ?.

11:00 "So we gotta find this manta?"

Craig: If we don't find it right away, we've got to install a brand new transect.

11:05 Man (either Jeff or Eric): which way are we headed?

C: ... as soon as we get the points down I'll tell you

11:06 Man: When we hit the bottom, which way are we headed

11:11 C: We should drop right on the interface. If not, we'll head west

11:17 Alex?: So, Craig, we're here, we're on the little dive launch, where are we going?

11:20 C: We're going to station 3275, which is the station that we visited in April of this year. We installed a permanent transect there, we're going back today to make a dive to a hundred feet, using nitrox to find that transect again and run our fish counts to get an analysis of then compared to now -the differences -the variances we might see

11:45 A: Alright, and are you diving?

11:48 C: I'm diving, and Jeff Judas is diving.
12:00 discussion of who gets video camera, who's going

12:11 C: Alright, the points are in, we're a half nautical mile away from our point, so
we're on our soon as I get the bow line

12:25 -13:10 ambi movement around the boat -kind of neat

12:37 some guy: nothing like the smell of diesel in the evening ...chuckling

13:11 C: bow line ...thank you ...a little push off...

13:16 man shouts: Have a good dive! Have a good dive! Find gold! .. chuckling

13:29 C: Ok, give your partner here a ride with us, Leo ... sound of engine starting

13:41 C: Now, once we get to the site, we'll count down on the GPS until it reads double zeros, I'll toss the anchor, that'll be our down line. It should put us within a few meters of the site.

13:54 C: We're diving at a hundred feet. I dove earlier today on nitrox so I've got a penalty that I have to consider on my repetitive dives so I can only go down for 32 minutes. The maximum time at a hundred feet on nitrox 36 is 40 minutes so I haven't lost that much time b/c I've been out of the water for almost seven hours now. So I've off-gassed. to put it lightly -laughs ... joking, people laughing

14:31 Without the GPS unit we'd have no prayer of finding these transects again.

14:38 A: I guess, you're talking about the technology ... these things just change your life a lot ... C: makes life a lot easier. .. would need buoy .... we plan on doing this research for at least another five years I think, to get good data.

15:10 ambi noise of boat motor through all of this

15:13 C: And that's exciting, you know, this is one of the marine sanctuary program, you know (NOAA?), they've implemented all these ideas and these reserves ... and they're put into place to protect the fish populations b/c we all know that a lot of the populations have declined in numbers. In some cases a lot of them like the salmon runs in the northwest have been put on the endangered species list. So this is one management tool we can use to help bring these populations back to their former numbers ( ... boat droning ...) And we don't know what effect this reserve is going to have, so this is one of the things that we're studying here, we're going to do a before comparison and an after comparison. When this thing is finally implemented on July the first

16:00 ...Ready with the anchor line? Get ready with the downline there, Jeff ...

16:05 -16:30 ambi Motor noise fading .. "Still got a ways to go" sounds of chains
(16:20 -:25), movement

16:38 C: Point one-zero nautical miles to go. . .. to a hundred feet ... ambient noise of boat

17:05 C: Five, .... four .... three .... (chains at 17:07 and throughout) ...two

17:31 C: Throw it! (splash) Slow 'er up, Eric.

ambi movement of anchoring... "too fast, bro" ... ambi chain noise until 18:00

18:10 C: that's our spot. .. we hope .. .

18:20 A: When you get down there, do you have some sort of underwater GPS thing that'll tell you whether you're on the -no, but there's a marker down there.

18:28 C: There's a marker down there. We should be able to see the interface. That is, the reef and the sand. So once I'm on that interface in can't find that marker, I'm going to put in a new one. Then we'll come up, I'll pull the buoy over that site to where it's almost vertical. .. we'll come up and we'll take a GPS mark right on that buoy so when we come back in April we should be within a few meters. But we may find that other site. It's what we're hoping for.

. . . laughter . .. Alex asks Jeff for name

19:03 I'm Jeff Judas, I'm an ensign on the NOAA Ship Ferrel. I'm from New Jersey. Uh, yes. (now not so much in microphone -sounds more distant) by schooling. I drive the boat now. Until I go to my land duty ...


19:56 C: We take sediment cores as well. Take those back to the lab and analyze them.

20:15 ambi movement of heavy object

20:16 A: that's a part of the side of the boat you just took off there... (bantering -might make for easy sinking, too)

20:54 A: Craig, I notice that the ensign has a wet suit on. And he actually looks like a professional diver. And you've got on the t-shirt you were wearing on the boat and that looks like an ordinary pair of shorts

21:09 C: Yeah, I'm um a little older than he is -I'm from the old school.

Jeff: those are the only clothes he brought for the week! (more banter) ... being from Kentucky, you know, only one

21:33 A: How much does that tank weigh? C: I don't know, probably 300 pounds (laughs). No, probably about 40 lbs. And I've got this dive bag that's got mannas (?) and ribars (?) in it, that's probably another 15 lbs for me with this tool bag and everything, it's like taking the elevator down to the basement -no stops. But it's ok b/c I don't have a problem clearing my ears ...which is good ... that just comes with doing lots of dives.

22:27 J: I'm ready. C: will you put that in the water for me? .. thank you

22:35 C: Alright, Eric, get us over near the buoy. we'll go diving! man grunts when lifting something.

22:56 ambi sound of air in lout of air tank

"...ready, I'll follow you down."

23:24 C: a hundred for 32! (splash!)

23:33 ambi -another splash -talking in background, from radio too

23:57 Eric: this is where I wait. NOM

24:12 I'm ensign Eric Eilers, I'm on the NOAA ship Ferrel as well. I'm from Maryland originally and I've been working on the ship since November. . .I drive the ship as well. I'm still new, so I'm still in the supervisory stage ...but during scientific work the ship basically -we bring on different scientists pretty much weekly during our field season and tote them around and provide a platform for their work ....

25:09 A: There's the buoy .. .I don't see their bubbles

E: I don't like being too close to them ... get bends ...tiny little air bubbles in their joints ... I've never had the experience, thankfully .... (more about embolism)

26:03 -:07 ambi -boat motor noise

26:20 -28:07 more boat motor noise, boat rocking in water -can hear splashing of water on side (26:58 -27:15 boat motor gradually louder -someone passing?) 27:34 & 27:58 - gentle splashing

28:07 fade out

28:10 boat motor noise, moving around on boat,

28:30 ambi -sounds like waves hitting side of boat -great water noises, bubbles,

28:53 ambi radio noise (from cb or whatever)

29:05 ambi loud water noise -waves hitting side of boat, while radio in background; again at 29:40 -loud sloshing

30:13 -31 :03 ambi splashing -sounds like a boat going by, first the little waves, then the bigger ones, then fade out

31:03 -31:44 ambi water sloshing against boat

31:45 A: This is the last dive of the day. We're on the launch about a half a mile away from the main ship. We're waiting for two divers to come back up from about a hundred feet. ... There are two divers down on the bottom which is about at a hundred feet. We're waiting for them to come back up .... again. We're in the dive launch ... (four or five variations)

32:59 ambi loud beep, Eric starts motor

33:00 -35:04 boat driving, waves, shifting, idling, speeding up, etc.

35:04 tape off

35:13 A: Ok, we've maneuvered the launch back over towards the buoy. We can see, yeah, there they are -(35:25 -ambi -boat speeds up)(35:33 -ambi -boat shifts down)

35:50-36:10 ambi -boat going towards divers

36:10 (ambi -sound of gasp, coming back up on boat) C: doesn't always work the way you want it to. A: What happened? C: Didn't find the interface. It's dark, it's murky -we just couldn't find the spot. We looked around for five more minutes, decided to come back up, play it safe .. .it happens sometimes. (sounds of breathing, equipment clanking) ... we hit seventeen out of seventeen, number 18 didn't do it... as lady luck would have it. Laughing, chuckling.

37:20 A: So how do you all communicate down there? C: By sight, hand signals (unison with Alex). It's real murky and we couldn't find the interface so I had to drag the bag and Jeff had to drag the anchor. That kind of stirs up the bottom which made things a little worse ... never found the interface so decided to come up ...

(ambi noise of them puttering on boat)

38:07 C: So I think, well, it doesn't do us any good to leave the buoy out there so we might as well pick it up ... I don't know if the points were off a few meters ...

38:37 Jeff (sounds distant): When I got down to the bottom, I saw the anchor dragging. I don't know if you saw it, I tried to tell you .. .it was, I watched it drag, so.. C: There's a little current out there, the wind could be dragging it

39:00 C: So we'll come back and try again ...probably tomorrow sometime. A: because tonight it's not going to get any clearer, right? C: Oh no, and the survey team can't do their work unless we put in the transept ...that's ok, it happens sometimes.

39:25 ambi boat noise (39:58 -chains, clanking -working with gear?)

40:15 C: So we'll go back and look at our point and make sure it's correct. ..

40:35 C: (sound of chains, anchor being lifted?) Ok, that'll do it. .. (muttering) ...excuse me...

41:01 C: Go ahead, Amy (Amy from cb radio: yeah, what happened, buddy?) Couldn't find the interface, man, we swam west, went down on the anchor, couldn't find it. over. A: alright, so I guess I'll give it to the next team and the next team can do the crepuscular (?). C: Well, there's no transect. A: Oh, shoot, that's right. (Craig chuckles) A: Alright, well, we'll tell Mark and we'll decide what to do. Thanks. C: Uh, roger, we'll probably just bag this site until tomorrow. over. It's getting -it's pretty daggone dark down there. over. A: alright, roger that. sorry, man. C: 's ok.

41:40 Ambi -chuckling and banter about the cloud of sand down there

42:01 Alex (not talking into mic): So, now, overnight, uh, despite your dives today, you'll totally gas out so by tomorrow morning you'll be completely fit to start over at zero again? C: We'll be fit to start over at zero again. If you have a twelve hour interval btw. dives it's not considered a repetitive dive. So we'll get 12 hours sleep tonight maybe and come back tomorrow and try 'er again. It doesn't work always the way you want it to. (laughs) But that's what makes it so exciting-cuz now I really want to get this guy (laughs).

42:40 C: Did you get my numbers in, too, Jeff? J: no...

43:04 J: He's got seven-fifty. (talking in background -I got down to 98, how far did you get down to? .. )

43:30 voice from cb: roger, did you guys pull a buoy? (yes, we did) roger. ..

more ambi boat noise, chatter ...

44:10 C: (part of chatter) sometimes they're so obvious ... driver's fault ...chatter Joke about it being the

44:43 A: (again, part of chatter) you've got to hit your point right away because you've got about a half-hour of work to do. C: (laughs) that's right ... that's absolutely correct. If we're not on it, have to swim, use enough air

45:03 -46:00 ambi -waves hitting boat, chatter in background
46:00 -48: 13 ambi clatter of equipment (taking the side of the boat off again?). chatter Craig to someone -Visibility's really bad, two feet ... very low drone of boat in background. mostly quiet, some talk ...

48:13 woman's voice (Carolyn?) Can you just tell us what these are?

48:21 Alex: Name, rank and serial number

48:23 Christine Addison. Biological technician ... I actually grew up in the Midwest -I'm from Nebraska. North Carolina. yeah. These are our underwater scooters. The divers are going to take these down to hopefully find the interface. And the reason that we like to use them is to help decrease the diver air consumption so instead of fighting against current and time and breathing heavy and reducing your bottom time, you can just ride these little babies. They've got three different speeds.

49:08 A: This thing is sort of the size of a large kitchen waste basket but there's a big propeller rig on the bottom of it.

49: 18 CA: It's got the battery about the size of a little golf cart battery. . .. And they're really easy to run and to maintain. Alex: how fast can you go in one of those?

CA: gosh, I suppose on the fastest speed you could cover 25 yards in maybe ten seconds, fifteen seconds. Alex: so it feels like running? CA: Yeah, very very fast swimming like if you were aggressively swimming freestyle on the surface sort of. But it's absolutely no effort, you just hold on and let your legs stream behind and go for a ride. It's quite nice, but the trouble is we have to have good visibility. With poor visibility you run into potential for accidents.

50:28 Where in Nebraska? CA: Sioux City ...

50:42 tape off

51 :02 Hi, it's Leo again, it is dat number three still .. .I am still doing in regards to the technique. RSM 190 I? and undecoded MS for your total control packing voice production and ... it's Saturday morning, I can not recall. We're right now leaving the dock at Fort Jefferson, and going to an island ...called Bird Island. And you know why because I mean there are thousands of birds flying around. going to get a little ambience from the ocean ...there you have it ...hope you enjoy it.

52:10 tape off

52:15 ambi water and boat -can hear birds in the distance. 52:42, they gradually get louder

53:16 ambi -quieter again

53:22 ambi -somebody driving boat (Jeff or Eric?): we can't get in there ... not deep enough...your best bet is to walk over there.

54:00 ambient birds, boat, water

54:30 boat driver: This is skinny in here, too. L: is it? (ambi. moving around and talking, now. Clatter of boat tackle.)

55:02 -55:43 ambi -more birds, boat, water

55:44 more chatter

55:55 -56:15 ambi better bird sounds -still distant, but squawking more, it seems

56:25 people chatter again in background ..."nah, it's dragging"

56:58 -57:50 ambi -birds getting loud!

57:50-59:44 ambi birds, a little quieter, waves, creaking as people move around boat but no chatter (59:11 -still no talking, but chains clattering as people move around boat)

59:45 tape off

59:54 Leo: Ok, I am on the upper deck. The RV Irene. (?) And we're sort of standing put here, waiting for the plane -the hydroplane -to fly into Fort Jefferson. Hopefully we'll get the plane coming in -approaching -and then splashing onto the water. That's what we hope anyway. So, I'm just going to roll and let's see what happens -don't know when it's coming .. .in the meantime ...ambience from the upper deck

1:01:00 ambi noise -can hear L shifting a bit -people walking? maybe it's wind blowing into the mic? some gulls from time to time? a flag flapping?

1:02:31 ambi birds -gulls, sounds like a lot -in the distance

1:02:50 ambi birds gone, just motor, maybe way distant birds, boat motor noise quiet

1:03:30 ambi waves against boat, motor getting a little louder, distant gull at :59

1:04:30 ambi quiet beeping in background -maybe depth meter?

1:04:50 Alex & Leo talking -"don't know if plane in fact took off...due in another five minutes"

1:05:22 tape off

1:05:26 L: Ok, here comes the plane, actually ... A: stand on the end, there

1:05:42 ambi: Distant small plane engine noise, 1:05:56, sounding closer, 1:06:01, closer. .. 0:16:09 -much closer; :14, overhead; :20 more distant :33 splashing (but just wave splashing?)

1:06:50 ambi: another wave, can just hear boat motor, as far as I can tell, until 1:08:30

1:08:30 ambi: loud sloshing -larger waves, until 1 :08:50

1:09:03 ambi: small plane engine growl, sounds like it's not flying, getting closer (maybe boat going towards it?)

1:09:59 tape off

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