Sub Training – Preparing for the Bering Sea
by Jessica Miller
June 13, 2007
Day 3 – June 13, 2007
Today we began learning to perform specific tasks at depth. We launched two subs at a time and our bottom depths ranged from 140 to 230 feet for the six dives.
Once on the bottom we were asked to follow compass headings by the navigator on the ship who was monitoring our progress. Visibility at depth was no more than a few feet, so following a bearing to complete a transect between point A and point B involved some pretty close contact with the bottom.
We were also given a submerged beacon target to look for on our sonars which proved much harder than it sounds. A couple of folk managed it and considering this was our first untethered dive that was considered a great success.
We also had the opportunity to rendezvous with the second sub in the water. That was amazing. I "parked" my sub on the bottom and watched as another pilot brought her sub into position to park just infront of me. We switched off our lights (which were blinding each other) and used our torches (flashlights) inside the cabins to point at ourselves so that we could see each other grinning away. We then proceded to move around each other slowly and cautiously before leaving the bottom. It wasn’t until later in the day that we found out how unusual it is to encounter another submarine underwater. we are very lucky to have two subs working together on this project, it makes a huge difference to how much ground you can cover, and to the safety of the operation.
It was a good day again, and all is well.