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Author Topic: NIKU IX  (Read 32050 times)

Jon Romig

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2017, 10:03:20 PM »

Great, exciting news, and good luck to all - man, woman and beast!

BTW, I hope that one of the volunteers will take a look on and around the big coral rock sitting in the lagoon just off the Seven site. In 2012 we speculated that it would have made a good, crab-free sleeping place.

Safe journeys.

Jon
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 10:40:16 PM »

Brian

Logistics for getting ashore is to put up to 40 people in the glass bottom tender, take them over near the landing channel, transfer them in smaller groups to skiffs, and take them up the landing channel to the beach. 

It is likely that we'll be deploying the ROV, at least part of the time, from the glass bottomed tender after folks have gone ashore.

The ROV will have to be charged on the ship, or on the glass bottom tender which I believe has electrical power available. 

AMCK
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Bill Mangus

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2017, 05:18:40 AM »

Hi Andrew,

Good stuff with the ROV.  Hope all goes well with it and the silt isn't too stirred-up.

Are there any plans to put a skill in the lagoon to transport people and doggies up to the 7 Site so they do not have that long hike up the beach?

Hope for good weather at Niku!!
Bill Mangus
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Randy Conrad

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2017, 07:55:24 AM »

Andrew, Tom, Joe...and the rest of the Niku IX expedition team....I just wanted to take this time and wish you guys the best of luck...also that many of us back in the states will be praying for excellent weather, safety for the rest of the team and the dogs, friendships to be established, and many new clues and artifacts to be found. Anyway, its neat to see National Geographic participation in the expedition with the dogs. I think the dogs will give us new insights into possible finds and possibly a final chapter into this saga. With that said..question for you Andrew and Tom....Like most case scenarios when trying to find a body..you have some sort of clothing owned by the person missing that will give a scent to the dogs. As you said these are canine forensic dogs...and how does that work in this situation when they can pickup a scent 9 feet down. I guess what I'm interested in is how these dogs are trained to know that. Also, with this environment on the island and "coral" is this something new to the challenge of the dogs. I noticed in one of the pictures that one of the dogs is wearing custom fit "doggie boots". I take it this is due to the extreme heat to the paws of the dogs. Also, very interested to know what kind of dogs these are and how much training each dog has had, and a picture profile would sure be neat.

Andrew...several days ago I chatted with Leon White about a picture on the Northern tip near the Norwich City site that was shared via Google Earth. This picture was taken at different time intervals during different expeditions. As I looked at the photos...I noticed something that caught my eye, that wasnt seen prior to that particular photo. In the picture taken two years later you see a rectangular shape just right on the reefs edge. It almost appears too that there is a different section just below this. I also did a comparison with Rics fly over video on YouTube Channel that was taken two years later from the Google Earth photo and noticed it wasnt there. That was really baffling. Anyway, lets just say that Amelia did crash land on the island and the plane sit there for a number of days in the water or land....will the plane leave some form of imprint in the reef. Why I say that is several years ago during the Conference in D.C. on of our Tighar couples made a case scenario of what landing the Electra on Niku was like..I guess I'm curious to know that possible "Scarring" may be noticeable after 80 years to rock and coral along the reefs edge? Anyway, excited for you guys...and can't wait till your next post. Good Luck!!


Also..Pat...Is it possible to get "DOGS, DIVES, and DNA" printed on the expedition shirt on the back...and in blue?  Think that would be so cool!!!!
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Greg Daspit

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2017, 12:15:02 PM »

Thanks for these interesting updates Andrew.
I look forward to reading the daily reports.
Good luck to the entire team!
3971R
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2017, 01:23:45 PM »

Logistics for getting ashore is to put up to 40 people in the glass bottom tender, take them over near the landing channel, transfer them in smaller groups to skiffs, and take them up the landing channel to the beach. 

It will be interesting to see how that works. That plan will allow the ship to stand well off and the passengers can avoid the long, exciting open-ocean skiff rides we so enjoy.  The down-side is they'll need to transfer from the tender to the skiff and vice versa in close to the reef.  As you know, moving people and gear from the Nai'a dive deck to and from the skiff in heavy seas is about the most dangerous thing we do. See https://youtu.be/j6iD1sqFxfI  Everybody in that video may look calm but they're scared shitless.

If there is much of a sea running, moving people and gear between two relatively small boats could be hairy. 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2017, 04:41:26 PM »

For Bill M

Yes, we're going to have a skiff in the lagoon to transport the dogs to the 7 site.  We are also working on a smaller dingy with an electric motor to help out crossing the channel and perhaps get more folks to the 7 site. 

For Randy C

Thanks for the kind words and support.  If we were tracking somebody, providing a scent would be important so the dogs could discern that person from the rest of us.  We're not looking for a particular person (well we are but...) in this case, we're looking for any kind of human remains so giving the dogs a scent to follow isn't necessary, they are trained to alert on any kind of human remains.  I'm not a forensic dog expert, but these dogs have essentially had years of training to get where they are.  My understanding is that the dogs on this trip are the most experienced of their peers, all Border Collies, and all about 8 years old.  There are photos in the Nat Geo article that was released yesterday.

I believe the dogs have been taken to a coral beach for some training in prep for this trip.  I don't know if they'll be wearing booties or not, but it would probably be a good idea.

The dogs have arrived by the way, and are currently resting in quarantine at a veterinary clinic near the airport, and will be released tomorrow if not sooner to board the ship.

And most of the other passengers have arrived this am from LAX, so we are all meeting each other and talking all things Nikumaroro.

Personally, I don't think that any scarring on the reef would be visible today.  It would be like scratching some concrete and then pounding it with salt water all day long every day for 80 years.  Unlikely that much would be visible.

ROV update to come shortly.  The spirit of Nei Mangnanibuka has struck early on this trip.....
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2017, 05:59:30 PM »

Bula from Fiji

OK, so here is the ROV update.

You want the good news, or the bad news?

Bad news.  After testing the ROV in the pool for 40 minutes, it stopped working.  John and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the problem was, working with the controllers and tablet thinking it was a connectivity problem, but in the end came to the conclusion that there was a problem inside the unit.  Frantic calls to OpenROV ensued. 

After several consultations, it was concluded that indeed something was seriously wrong with the unit we had.  The symptoms were suggesting that water must have gotten inside the vessel making it very unhappy.  Not good for electronics. 

Dead ROV.  Not good for our expedition.  Nei Manganibuka strikes again!

Now the good news.  OpenROV scrambled into action and they are sending a replacement unit down from LAX this evening with a passenger who is carrying it on as hand luggage, so we'll have it in time before we sail tomorrow afternoon.  We're going to send the unit we have back to them for a post mortem.

Keep in mind that what we are talking about here are pre production prototypes of the Trident ROV, so it is not unusual to have some issues.  In another month or so, OpenROV will be completing the final touches on their units and looking to start production, but in the mean time we're working with a prototype.

Hats off the the OpenROV folks for making a special effort to get us a replacement unit.  We're lucky that they are willing, and that there is one passenger who is still in transit.

Fingers crossed that the unit gets delivered to the flight at LAX tonight.

Exhale.....

Andrew



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Jerry Germann

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2017, 07:49:42 PM »


For Randy C

Thanks for the kind words and support.  If we were tracking somebody, providing a scent would be important so the dogs could discern that person from the rest of us.  We're not looking for a particular person (well we are but...) in this case, we're looking for any kind of human remains so giving the dogs a scent to follow isn't necessary, they are trained to alert on any kind of human remains.  I'm not a forensic dog expert, but these dogs have essentially had years of training to get where they are.  My understanding is that the dogs on this trip are the most experienced of their peers, all Border Collies, and all about 8 years old.  There are photos in the Nat Geo article that was released yesterday.

I believe the dogs have been taken to a coral beach for some training in prep for this trip.  I don't know if they'll be wearing booties or not, but it would probably be a good idea.

The dogs have arrived by the way, and are currently resting in quarantine at a veterinary clinic near the airport, and will be released tomorrow if not sooner to board the ship.


Did a little tip searching for dog safety in conditions such as Niku,...and a couple of tips on this list; http://blog.gopetfriendly.com/keeping-your-dog-safe-at-the-beach/ are new to me. In particular the use of sunscreen on the dog's nose was interesting,....but wonder if it's use would reduce or hinder the dog's ability to pick up scent. The tip against salt water lapping, even avoiding quick little tastes, is a good one.
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Joy Diane Forster

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2017, 06:15:31 AM »

This trip sounds incredibly interesting!   I wish I could join you; but I'd be as sick as a dog on the boat and no use to anyone.

But best wishes to all and my fingers are crossed for many interesting finds!
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2017, 09:39:00 AM »

I'd be as sick as a dog on the boat

Ouch!  I hope the dogs don't get seasick.
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Joy Diane Forster

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2017, 11:38:46 AM »

OK, bad phrasing choice!  I really hope the best for all parties involved, and I am very interested in how the dogs perform.
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Leon R White

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2017, 12:49:47 PM »

The White Family from Southern California, Michigan, Maryland, Washington State, and Canada  send all our warmest thoughts and prayers for everyone's safety on the trip.  Nothing is more important, as TIGHAR chiefs always stress.  Good Luck and Happy Hunting? Certainly, but safety first and care for the pups. And thank you to all the Tighars supporting this.

If you happen to know where the short High Def color video was taken (shallow water), I hope you divers take a quick visit there.  Both Camels and Clouds are gone, and several aircraft looking gauges may be seen there in the coral.  No, really.  In any event,

It is also appropriate to say  "Thank you Rick," again, for carrying this quest so far.  I hope this finds your eye surgery successful.

Godspeed to all.

Leon White
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2017, 12:59:15 PM »

I hope this finds your eye surgery successful.

Thanks Leon.  Not eye surgery.  Just a simple laser procedure.  I'm fine.

I'm not a diver and I can only sniff out human remains if they're recently deceased, so for this trip I'm more useful here.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: NIKU IX
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2017, 03:15:42 PM »

This morning the replacement ROV arrived with the last passenger joining the expedition, whew!

We have some lectures this morning, and will be boarding the Reef Endeavor later this afternoon.  I think we depart Fiji after dinner.  I'll try to keep posting as long as I have internet capability, but after that it will be dispatched via Sat Phone to Ric who will post on the daily updates, and perhaps here on this thread.

Cheers

Andrew
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