Dateline: At sea, 11 July 2012
They’re within 100 miles of Nikumaroro. Current ETA, 1:30 a.m. local time.
When they arrive they will immediately start working the primary search area with the Multi-Beam to map the ocean bottom. Ric will be on the bridge to give local knowledge to the Captain – what is where, what that shadow is, and so on. There will be very little moon (last quarter) and they will be relying heavily on radar and that local knowledge to work the edge.
That will take about two hours; then they will do a perimeter sweep of the island to get a general sonar map, arriving back at the primary area at daybreak.
The AUV will go in the water for a four hour test in the search area. When it returns for download and to have new programming and batteries installed, the ROV will go in for a two hour test run. Then the AUV will go back down for the first “real” run of the expedition, eight hours of data collection.