Our James Bond marine equipment!



Our marine equipment is, maybe not as James Bond’s, but for our job is very good. First of all, it includes a unique boat 15m length, the Explorer for our environmental trips. But about the boat we have a special page dedicated exclusively to it (Explorer link)



CARTOGRAPHER AND PLOTTER GPS

Our marine equipment includes also a cartographer Olex ES60 of the Norwegian company Simrad. With this we investigated the sea bottom in any detail. We can obtain on computer a series of bathymetric maps indicating the sea bottom depth and the hardness of the substrate, precisely measured every 5 meters!

As exposed already in the link for cartography , the depth values are represented in blue, changing from light blue for shallow waters to dark blue for deep ones, while the hardness values of the sea bottom are expressed in orange-reddish colours, ranging from violet, for the soft bottom to yellow for the hardest ones.

So, the bottom of the sea does not have any secret for us anymore!



ROV (remotely operated vehicle)

A ROV is a special vehicle carrying a colour video-camera and a black and white video-camera, both protected by an underwater housing, equipped with uw lights. All the system is moved by a complex of propellers that allow the movement in all the directions (front, back, right, left, up and down).

The vehicle is connected to a console board through a 150 m optical fibres cable, which brings to the machine the commands that should execute and carries to the surface the images captured underwater. The images are projected on the consol board screen or can also be diverted on an external screen.

We can move the vehicle using a sort of joystick, like the one in use for video games. This allows us to move the vehicle in every direction, to start recording, to empower or reduce enlighten, to keep it moving in a given direction or at a given depth, and so on.




In this way we can explore the underwater world remaining dry on the boat deck. This was very useful to us when we had to show for didactic reasons some particularity of the underwater flora and fauna to a wide group of people that didn’t want or know to dive or snorkel.

Moreover we used successfully ROV in some lake cartography, where the visibility was very reduced, to find several objects underwater.

Of course, thanks to the fact that ROV descends down to about 150 m depth (and we obviously don’t!) we use it to explore depth not reachable by us like divers. This is maybe one of the most interesting uses of ROV.


UNDERWATER VIDEO-CAMERA and HOUSING

In our marine equipment it is also included a digital Sony video-camera hosted in a proper underwater housing from the Spanish company Mangrove, which keep it safe until 100 m. (To be sincere, we didn’t verify it!). We use it for video recording and for uw investigations in lakes and under the sea.

In summer 2006 we recorded an underwater video documentary Under the surface - The Gulf of Kavala that won also a special recognition for the ecological content at the 9th International Festival of Cinema of Patra in September 2007.



UNDERWATER CAMERA and HOUSING

We also use digital cameras (Canon PowerShot Pro1 with Ikelite housing and Canon PowerShot A630 with her own housing), which allow us to take uw pictures up to 40 m depth (this was more easy to test! Everything was OK!). Of course, all the uw pictures that appear on our web site are shot by us using our cameras.



And, last but not least! If you liked our picture and you would like to have some of them, but you don’t know how… I have news for you! Now our pictures are also available on line at the website www.etsy.com/shop/marinelife Jump there now!



40 INCHES SCREEN

In order to amuse our guest, we have a 40inches screen on board. It is a TV screen that we use to connect to the ROV or to the video-camera and we project the images collected underwater.

We have the possibility on board to connect the screen also to a computer to show to our guest some videos or some presentations with theme, of course, marine biology and to a stereoscope, as exposed in a while!



STEREOSCOPE

Part of our marine equipment it is also a stereoscope that we usually use for plankton analysis. We collect a plankton sample either with proper plankton net or collecting water from the water column. Then we use the stereoscope to see the organisms present in the sample.

To make it more interesting, we can connect the stereoscope to the screen through a digital camera. In this way it is more practical to show the plankton sampling to our guest, comfortably sit instead than to twenty people fighting around a stereoscope!

And by the way, in a drop of water, it is possible to see plenty of life, especially larvae from fish, shrimps, crabs, star fish, sea urchins and a lot more!



HYDROPHONE

Another Bond’s marine equipment is the Hydrophone that we use, not to detect enemies or spies, but to verify the presence of dolphins. Dolphins emit a series of sound, called clicks, used for eco-location and communications. With the hydrophone it is possible to hear and record these sound. For the translation we are not yet equipped!


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