Our day began offshore from Norfolk Starr landing. We had deployed Huck and Jim.
Steffen sent a few tests to the seismic energy source, but nothing happened. When
things do work, the device bellows a fast burst of air (20 cubic inches), resulting
in a bubble of Mississippi River water and a bong sound throughout the Strong. It
seemed to want the day off.
Tony, captain of the M/V Strong, held the Strong in position while we reeled the device
back on onto the stern deck. With the air turned off, we sent a signal to the seismic
device that should make a click sound. Sounded more like an electrical arc.
Over the next hour, we dismantled the device piece by piece until we were down to
the electrical housing unit. Going into the electric housing unit would be a last
resort. It seemed like the mechanical components of the device were just sticking.
We cleaned all of the connectors and lubed the O-rings, sealers and drive shaft, put
it back together and tested our work with another test signal, listening for that
hopeful click. And that’s what we got, a click. We were back in business. How many
scientists does it take to fix…..
The remainder of the day was like any other. Our 60Hz noise was still gone and the
data were rolling in. The end of our 14-mile journey placed us at Tunica landing.
Before heading to dinner, we retired to the poolside at our hotel to unwind from a
long, but successful day.