First expedition of #1726


#1

Just had the maiden voyage of #1726 in Boca Ciega Bay. It wasn’t technically the maiden voyage as I did a test run in a swimming pool but this was the first real exploration.

Location: Eckerd College Waterfront, Frenchman’s Creek/Boca Ciega Bay
Time: 10pm-11pm

I chose a night run to see if I could catch one of the bull sharks or bonnet heads that come into the creek at night.

Structural:
Solid. No leaks that I can see. No issues with tether or body of ROV. Dove to approximately 15 feet with no issue. Only issue I had was a bit of leaning toward the back. I will move one of the metal rods farther up front and see if that corrects the issue. Also the tail attached to the handle with tape created a sort of rudder effect and caused some turning issues. I will have to make sure that stays straight somehow.

Electronics:
Toward the end of the dive, the camera cut out on me. Everything else was working and I got scared that I had a leak which shorted out the camera, so I brought her back in. No leaks were found, and the camera came on once I returned home to do a post-dive check.

Buoyancy:
1726 is positively buoyant. It takes thrust level 3 to keep it near the bottom at 15 feet in brackish water. I plan to add a GoPro which will add more weight and may fix the problem but it was very difficult to keep the ROV in the deeper water without holding the vertical thrust.

Camera:
Seemed to work. The area I was in has somewhat murky water and the lights lit up well. On the brightest setting, the reflection/glare from the metal balancing rod causes some visual issues but only when the camera is pointed down.

All in all, I’m proud of #1726. She still needs a name, however.


#2

Did you find any sharks?


#3

Unfortunately I didn’t. The buoyancy issue made it hard to keep the ROV low in the water and visibility in the creek is pretty terrible usually. I am going back out to the same spot in the daylight to see if it’s any better. I did see a few pairs of sunglasses and other items dropped from the dock.


#4

Whoa! Cool beans! I love the area around Eckerd College, spent some time there in the summer after high school scoping out the diving and boating.

Do you have any pictures or screen captures?

Zack