Down Under in Bermuda!

Drip..drop…Admiral’s Cave

Bob and Karl prepare to dive

Captain Gil!!

Cedarbridge students and the human ROV

A pool in Admiral’s Cave

Fantastic cave!

Today started off a bit brisk (to the team members from Florida anyway…) We all met at 0900 to load Annie and Gil’s vehicles with the gear for today’s event. The surface team worked together to set up the Human ROV system while the divers prepared to begin their test dive. The purpose of the morning test dive was to ensure that the communications gear was working properly and for the divers to become familiar with the cave. On the surface, Annie and Jack Ward, director of Conservation Services for Bermuda, set up a tent to prevent glare on the monitor screen for the presentation.

After a quick lunch on-site, we anxiously awaited the arrival of 25 students from Cedarbridge High School. The students that joined us today are from the marine biology class at a nearby high school – thanks Cedarbridge!! We met at the top of Cliff Pool and completed our introductions and safety briefing before heading down to the dive site. In addition to the students on site with us, there were about 60 classmates joining us via live video and audio feed from Cliff Pool to the Cedarbridge auditorium. Meanwhile, Tom Iliffe and Mark Outerbridge (Bermuda Aquarium staff) were also on standby at the auditorium to host the live feed from there.

Prior to the dive, the students got a chance to interact with the divers and learn about their equipment, what to expect, and a bit about Bermudian caves! Then, the fun began… Down went the divers…Karl was on the full-face and comms, with Bob and Renee providing additional lighting, and Gil tending line. The divers descended to a depth of 52’, and we were able to communicate with them the whole way! Once they reached the limits of sound transmission, we took a video tour of the next portion of the cave as far as the camera would reach. This is the first time we have used this system in an anchialine cave, so the organisms inhabiting this salty water are quite different from what we have seen in freshwater systems. The students asked tons of questions, and we discussed differences between submerged caves in Bermuda, Mexico, and central Florida. Thankfully everything worked quite well, and even the weather cooperated (none of us knew that Bermuda can be quite chilly and windy this time of year!)… A HUGE thanks to Mr. Glad Doors who, in addition to JP Rouja and his crew, made this broadcast from the field possible!! It was a lot of hard work!!

After loading the vehicles and scooters (poor Bob now rides solo), we headed back to the cottages to rinse gear and prepare for a recon mission in Admiral’s Cave, the cave where we will be teaching the workshop tomorrow. Surprisingly, it was warmer inside the cave than outside! It was interesting to learn that Bermuda has no resident bat population..they only occasionally visit the island on the winds of hurricanes. The cave was beautiful and the team took a little time to explore some of the different formations.

After touring Admiral’s, the team headed out to Swizzle Inn once more for a fantastic dinner!!

Team Members

  • Jen Cate
  • Rima Franklin, Ph.D.
  • Amy Giannotti
  • Bob Giguere
  • Anne Glasspool, Ph.D.
  • Betsy Hackley
  • Tom Iliffe, Ph.D.
  • Gil Nolan
  • Renee Power
  • Karl Shreeves
  • Bernie Szukalski
  • Terrence Tysall
  • Jack Ward

Questions/Comments from the Trilobite

Amy,
I’m forwarding this to Kristy’s school….
Take care and what an exciting trip for you and your team.
Robin (The Hermitage)

Hi Robin (& Scott),
Thanks so much for following along..it is nice to hear from people back home! We are having a great time and working very hard. Bermuda is a beautiful country, and the people are so kind and welcoming. Hope to see you in the mountains sometime soon!
Amy

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