Thursday was a strange day, a mixed bag of successes and some serious injuries; the latter leading to multiple hospital visits!
The day started nominally with the teams splitting again along specific lines of interest. Mike and Scott along with Manuel Ribeiro took off on a RHIB for waters off the southern coast of Faial near Feteira. Separately Zé Pinto, Frédéric, Alex and Kanna also joined them shore-side with the hope of testing the Xplore-1 with its HOLO cam in open waters. Ivan Stenius later joined the group and observed operations from shore. However, the off-shore ops were strenuous with Mike and Scott dealing with communication constraints. Manual managed to deploy Xplore-2 from the RHIB to test T-REX surveys a number of which were successfully executed. However the idea of having conjoined surveys of two upper water-column vehicles (one with the HOLO) had to be shelved. Feteira's small pier was not ideal for shore-side deployment and acoustic comms given the proximity of a large dump of rocks. By 2pm, the RHIB and the shore-side team wrapped up and headed back to Horta.
Meanwhile, Paulo Dias and Bruno had a superb 10km run of the bathymetric vehicle for habitat mapping along the south shore of Pico. Aided by Águas Vivas, the DOP vessel and Jorge Fontes in a spearate RHIB, they managed a routine and nominal run with Noptilus-1. Also on Pico were the NTNU UAV team scouting out a viable location to fly. Aided by Pico Natural Park personnel, they were able to find a vacant football field in São Mateus just off the beach. As a backup they had also arranged for the DOP RHIB, Pintado to be off shore of the launch site as a safety precaution. Waiting was the name of the game for them to be let in to the field; however, by the time they were set up and the Pintado offshore and waiting, the wind had picked up making it too risky to fly the UAVs with their science payload! So this was a lost day for them.
The FEUP UAV team was also grounded; working on X8-01 the vehicle that had a hard landing on Tuesday making upgrades and filing documentation. So no UAV operations for the day.
But the day wasn't all that benign and smooth. Two crew members from the Gago Coutinho had to be brought to shore and taken to the hospital. one not so serious. Worse still, Ivan in a small motor scooter (with a helmet) met with an accident while going on a round-about. Kanna got an SMS from Ivan in the hospital and he and Joao rushed to see him banged up some, but standing up and smiling. While serious, it could have been worse; on slipping and getting thrown off the scooter, he was intact, but not the scooter which promplty came under a car.
So the end of the day, we all came to be grateful that overall everyone was safe. And in the end-of-day debrief plans for Friday were hatched.