Dig In…

Andy, Terrence and Renee get ready

The main squeeze!!

Andy gets a sample from station 5

David, Kris and Bob run their tests

Terrence collects bacterial biomass

Betsy assists the divers with their tanks

Today the team went to Wekiwa Springs, our tasks centered on the smaller of the two vents at Wekiwa. Our mission: to collect biomass and water samples from 5 different sites within the cave system. After the team had arrived at the springs, the surface team (Bob, Amy, David, Kris and Betsy) began setting up the water chemistry kits while the divers prepared to embark into the cave. We had a team meeting and the divers did a walk-through to finalize how they would go about collecting all the water samples required for testing. Terrence and Andy were responsible for collecting the samples, while Renee acted as a shuttle between the surface help and the divers.

Shortly after the divers entered the cave system, Renee returned with the first set of samples and the land team went right to work analyzing the water! As Renee continued transporting samples from the remaining sites, we ran multiple water chemistry tests using the hydro lab and analyzed for ammonia, iron, nitrate, and sulfide. While we finished the analyses the divers went back into the cave to document the sampling sites.

Once the team had completed all of the on-site water chemistries, we packed our gear and headed for the car. The divers went to get tank fills for Thursday’s dives at Rock Springs. Then we met back at Garibaldi’s for lunch before heading to Amy’s house for a debriefing with Rima. The second set of water samples were given to Rima to take back to NASA, along with the biomass that was collected.

The weather was awesome and the teamwork amazing- we accomplished our objectives in record time and look forward to our next dive resulting in the same positive experience!

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