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We were met by two cameramen from the RAS Foundation who had filmed us last year. They came out to shoot the launching of the ROV and its operation. Paul came and picked them up so they could also shoot the ISIS underway.
The main focus of the coming days is to inspect some of the sonar anomalies detected over the past two years. There are over 16 targets on the list and today we completed six. Two of these turned out to be ancient shipwrecks. The first of which consists of a number of amphorae spread over a large area. The second is a spectacularly large Roman shipwreck whith thousands of amphorae. Over the next days we will inspect the other targets but it is unlikely that we will match those discovered today.
Following our evening out, it was back to the grind this morniing. Ugo joined us on board for the final day of side scan sonar survey. The idea was to start with the last two lines on the approaches to Capri harbour thinking that it would be quiet on a Monday morning. We couldn’t have been more mistaken as numerous ferries were criss-crossing our path. However, we did manage to complete them and move on to complete the remaining lines on the west side of the island.
By early afternoon we were back at the marina where the team proceeded to convert the ISIS for ROV operations. The closest available crane was at the local fishing village across the bay. Ugo arranged everything for a smooth operation and in no time the ISIS was ready. Once back at the marina all the ROV equipment was loaded and prepared for tomorrow’s schedule.
With today’s work e are ahead of schedule with our side scan work and plan to finish the proposed areas tomorrow. In the afternoon we will switch the ISIS to ‘ROV mode’ so as to start ROV work on Tuesday. Following a meeting with our local partners this afternoon we have selected a number of promising targets for inspection. This phase of the project is estimated, weather permitting, to last till Friday.
Today we completed our second day of side scan sonar survey off the island of Capri. We are currently working on the area off the approaches to Capri Harbour. This creates some difficulties because of the intense marine traffic present in the area. Ferry boats and pleasure craft are constantly gliding close by at high speeds. This despite the ISIS having all the necessary signals indicating that we are carrying out survey work.
Just after noon the situation became untenable and we moved to our second area of study which is off the west coast of the island close to where a couple of ancient shipwrecks were discovered closer to the shore. We are hoping that some other sites may be located in deeper waters offshore. By mid afternoon the local wind that blows around Capri picked up and we decided to head back to port. We plan to finish this area by tomorrow afternoon.