1 March 1999
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research - NIWA
Greta Point, Wellington, New Zealand

At the End of Our Rope - literally

I spent a few hours this morning in the hotel room working on the photographs for these journals. By the time the sun had managed to warm up the air enough for me to really want to be outside, I decided that this would be a good time go for a walk down to Te Papa, the New Zealand National Museum and see what everyone has been talking about. The plans for work on the ship called for us to get there later in the afternoon to start taping the fiber optic cables onto nearly one half mile of poly-steel cable. Figuring that I had a couple of hours before I needed to be at the Kaharoa, I walked along the beachfront promenade and made my way to Te Papa. Architecturally, the museum is quite spectacular with soaring atriums, elevated walkways, and a blend of traditional and very modern exhibition styles.

Heading back to the hotel to join up with the rest of the group before going over to the ship I saw what must have been the start of yet another boat race, except this time the boats were powered by dacron sails and wind rather than by twenty very robust paddlers. That interesting cone-shaped shaped building in the background is the New Zealand parliament house, affectionately called "the Beehive".

Since the Deep Rover will be diving in Kaikoura attached to the ship by a tether, this configuration provides the opportunity to send the video images that the Deep Rover's cameras take up the tether and to the ship where it can be recorded and viewed by the scientists on board. However, since the video signals cannot travel up the rope tether, two additional fiber optic cables need to be taped to the tether to carry the video. As the sun went down, we carefully offloaded the reels of fiber optic cable from the Kaharoa onto the dock where we had stretched out the entire tether. The task before us seemed quite overwhelming. Attaching the fiber to nearly one half mile of rope with wraps of duct tape every three meters was not something that we were going to be able to complete tonight.

.......the saga of the duct tape will be continued

best regards,

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