29 April 2019
Huge progress towards the controlled release experiment today as we successfully placed the CO2 container on the seabed! Containing 3 tonnes of CO2, the gas rig was a pretty hefty load to be lowered over the side of the ship using the ship’s A-frame crane.
Once the tanker was released to sink down to the seafloor, our ROV Isis set off straight after it to see how it landed. Given the size of the tanker (5.5 long by 2.5m wide) it was pretty easy to find, especially with the long recovery rope leading the way. To everyone’s relief and no one’s surprise, a thorough investigation showed everything was in perfect working order. We even got to see our first CO2 bubbles…though only from a very small test release from the tanker to ensure we have full control over the gas flow rate.
Next on the agenda is pushing the gas pipe in place in the seafloor sediments. This is another unique task, this time using the custom-built Cellula Robotics drill rig. There are so many “world firsts” being attempted on this cruise that these incredible feats of engineering are almost starting to feel routine!