After a long (and cold) winter the new survey season is once again upon us. The AURORA team are all back on Malta and the vessels are a hive of activity. We are all working hard to ready the vessels for the forst part of this years survey season which will see us spending two months off the western coast of Italy and the Aeolian Islands. For a better idea of where we will be working have a look at the map delineating the project areas and the routes we intend to take.
We have spent the winter carrying out a number of tasks that involved a refit on the ISIS, training of key personnel and the development of a digitized map of some the sites we work on. The ISIS has had a new skid installed, which means that the removal of the side scan sonar winch will be a much simpler operation. Two of our team, Eric and Paul, have just returned from Scotland where they have undergone intensive training on ROV operations and maintenance. Over the past months we have also been working on the development of a map-based database that will enable us to analyze our data in a more efficient manner.
We have started to purchase supplies for the first part of the trip and are now monitoring the weather forecast. Although the plan is to leave on Wednesday 2nd June, the strong north westerly currently blowing may delay our departure to Thursday 3rd June. Although we can organize most things we have no control over the weather!!