Exploring and sampling with the Western Flyer!

So I just got back from an amazing morning out on Monterey Bay on board the Western Flyer. The Western Flyer Foundation (WFF) uses the boat for educational and research programs. They had a group of Marine Biologist summer interns from Monterey Peninsula College going out with three of their own Fifish V-EVO ROVs and they invited me and my BlueROV2 to join.

After the short trip north out of Moss Landing Harbor, they deployed one of the V-EVOs in about 60m and they were able to reach bottom and record video of some fish and crabs.

I put the Blue ROV2 in and I got to the bottom at about 62m. Navigation was tricky since the Western Flyer was holding on station (to avoid drifting into deeper waters) and there was a good current pulling the ROV away from the boat. One lesson learned: use “Stability” or “Depth Hold” mode for operating at full power! Otherwise it’s very difficult to maintain a steady course.

The BlueROV2 was definitely more stable in the surge than the Fifish, but it was also draggier in the current. My camera view was pretty limited at the bottom and we ran out of time so I wasn’t able to explore the bottom much. I collected some bottom mud for the interns using our new Sediment Sample Collector!

I think the Western Flyer folks were happy to have two ROVs deployed simultaneously. They have their own Trident but it takes two of them to operate it and they were happy to have someone else running it. I was thrilled to be included and have the opportunity to fly my BlueROV2 in the bay and I look forward to joining them on future cruises!

And neither of my water test sensor kit prototypes leaked at 62m!


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Hi @kurt_bluerobotics, sounds like a great experience - thanks for sharing! :smiley:

You’ve got some interesting photos, and it’s particularly cool to see such a decked out BlueROV2! It’ll no doubt be extra interesting once there’s more you can share about your water test sensor kit, and there seems to be some previous community interest as well :slight_smile:

By the way, I’ve moved this post to its own topic, so there’s a dedicated place to discuss this exploration, and the organisations and components involved :slight_smile:

I just added a few new photos from the trip, taken by Rebecca and Katie from WFF.