December 20, 1998

Park Rangers Marjorie Paulette (left) and Rona Hawkins (right) look over hardcopies of the Daily Updates of the website which are posted in the boat house at Wakulla Springs every day [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende].


Mike Bruic prepares the rebreather he'll be diving later in the day. Note the large bottle mounted on the side of his rebreather. The "Klingon Kruiser" design (developed by Bruic) uses two large bailout bottles mounted to a custom frame attached to the backpack. It provides a large volume of deep breathing gas to be used in the unlikely event of a rebreather failure at the furthest point into the cave. This design depends on a string of additional staged bottles leading back to the entrance to cover for the worst case scenario of having to return using traditional open circuit Scuba. Contrast this design with the dual rebreather system shown below. [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende].

Jason Mallinson fills a MK5 absorbent canister with 8-12 Sofnolime. The canister is used to scrub exhaled CO2 out of the breathing loop. The project exclusively uses Sofnolime from the O.C. Lugo Co., Inc. [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende].

In preparation for today's dual rebreather dress rehearsal, Andrew Poole sits behind the hull of a Fatman scooter while wearing a backup rebreather. Andrew discusses the setup with Matt Matthes while Jason Mallinson listens on. John Vanderleest, however, is more interested the picture being taken :-) [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende].

This image was taken from the floating habitat looking into the spring pool where waves obscure the divers somewhat. The diver on bottom is using a Klingon Kruiser set up (see the Dec. 16 update for a labeled image). On top, Andrew Poole is diving a dual MK5 rig (see additonal photo below). Andrew's primary life support unit is the MK5 rebreather mounted on the scooter. The two white objects are buoyancy neutralization tubes. The MK5s are about 5 lbs negatively buoyant which is good for divers, but upsets the neutrally buoyant Fatman scooters. The floatation tubes return the rebreather-mounted scooter back to neutrality (if you let go of it in the water it neither sinks nor floats). The rebreather on Andrew's back is there only for emergencies and is not used at all during a normal dive [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende].

The following images were taken as screen captures from video footage taken by Jill Heinerth.

Jason Mallinson drives the Digital Wall Mapper up the sand slope of the entrance of Wakulla Spring [photo ©1998 Jill Heinerth].

Andrew Poole (left) diving the dual, scooter mounted-rebreather and Mike Bruic (right) diving the Klingon Kruiser [photo ©1998 Jill Heinerth].

Here, divers are about to enter the Personnel Transfer Capsule (PTC) following a dress rehearsal for the December 21st mission to A-Tunnel. Note the perfectly neutral and horizontally balanced Fatman Scooter on the lower left [photo ©1998 Jill Heinerth].

Click here for an animated gif (172 Kb) of the personal transfer capsule being lowered off the barge.

Today's Humor Picture: Rich Hudson plays Wakulla 2's version of Slim Pickens in the movie Dr. Strangelove [photo ©1998 Barbara Anne am Ende]:

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