August 5, 1999, was a much better day than the last couple. After two days of high winds and thunderstorms, Mother Nature calmed down today, and we headed out to dive this morning at about 0700. We saw 2 foot swells, but the wind had died down and the seas were realatively calm. We went out to the Proteus, a wreck located in 130 fsw. We divided the team into two seperate teams, and each team made 2 dives on the wreck.
Team 1, Doug Kesling, Ken Johns and Lance Horn, and team 2, Chris Cote and Michael Ott, deployed off the stern of the R/V Cape Fear, and after each dive, deployed a lift bag on a line reel and assended up this line. This gives the divers practice in drift decompression and the live-boating techniques that we will utilize on the Monitor. While the divers are in the water, a support diver and chase boat operator, Mike Smith, are deployed for quick response to lift bag sightings. The support diver can enter the water when a lift bag comes up and can determine the status of the divers. Dave Dinsmore was on deck during all dives as dive supervisor.
After the divers surface, Dan Aspenleiter, moves the Cape Fear in close to the divers and picks them up. After each dive, a debriefing is conducted to assist the divers in making improvements in their techniques. We are expecting good weather for hte next several days and should be able to continue our preparation for the dives on the Monitor.