It's hard to comprehend all that's happened in the last two weeks. It's been a whirlwind of adventure, meeting new people, learning, and jumping (literally) out of my comfort zone. I can't believe how time has flown by; already, we're done with training!
Today we dove for a little over an hour, getting in final practice with the full face masks and the double tanks. We also did an underwater photo shoot with the ultra-high definition RED camera, for Fabien's documentary film. The RED camera has revolutionized photography with a sensor that has more than 5 times the number of pixels of the very best HD camera. RED: The Camera that Changed Hollywood.
Our final debriefing was sentimental. Roger, chief of Aquarius operations, told us more people have gone into space than have lived underwater, so what we're doing is very special. We have now a unique opportunity to bring ocean science and public awareness to a new level. It's tremendously exciting! Fabien said it only hit him yesterday that this was finally real, really happening. At last, there's no turning back!
In the afternoon, a research team from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIU) showed us how to use their sonar imaging system. This system will help record and monitor fish, and our FIU researchers will use the system to record fish behavior in response to predators.
Splashdown is in 48 hours! Tonight we'll celebrate, somehow.
Grace Young is an MIT ocean engineer, aquanaut, and scientist/engineer with Cousteau's Mission 31. She's currently a PhD student at University of Oxford, chief scientist for the Pisces VI deepsea submarine, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.