Dominik Fretz

Dominik Fretz

56 observations in 15 expeditions


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After another 2h 45m you finally made it to Galapagos, Baltra airport.There is only one run-way and no taxi way, but there aren't too many flights anyway. Once you get to the terminal, you get your National Park permit (100USD) and get your carry on bags checked for food, just in case. Just a short stroll away is the Baggage Claim. There aren't any conveyor belts, just tables with rolls that the workers use to push your luggage onto. Once everyone's luggage is there and the official gives a sign, everyone storms forward and grabs their luggage. As if the island is going to errode while you wait. You're getting out of the airport and depending on your style of travel, either get herded towards one of the tour busses or the public one. I was traveling idependend so it's public bus. Once it's full (read: very full, no standing room) you start your 10 min drive along the winding road. You cross lava plains, see lots of cactus and you get the first glimps on why Darwin called at least parts of the islands desolate. You arrive at the little channel that seperates Baltra and Santa Cruz island, unload from the bus and get on the ferry. The luggage goes on top and you inside (not that there are windows). The fare is $1 and the ride takes 5 min. On the other side you choose your next mode of transport. The public bus (I think around $4) takes you to town or you take one of the taxis. Taxis here are white pick up trucks. I was a bit constrained for time so I choose the taxi ($25) to make it to my ferry to go to Isla Isabela. The road to Puerto Ayora is fairly smooth and most traffic is from the taxis and busses coming from the airport pick up. Congratulations, you made it in time to get a ticket for the ferry to Isabela. The ferries are speedboats aka little yacht type runabouts with 3 x 200hp susukys in the back. The return fare is $55. Get to the port 30 min before your departure (there is a 2pm boat and I think one in the early morning), get your bags checked and sealed again (inter island transport of fruit and vegetable is prohibited) and registered for the transport. There are Navy officials present at all times and make sure the lists are handled correctly. The speedboats don't land at the pier, you have to take a little panga water taxi. Luggage goes in the front, passangers in the back, the fare is 50ct. When you get to the speedboat, choose your seat. I heard the front can be with little air, the back is most stable but noisy. Also, take a wind/rain jacket, it can be cold and windy on the ocean. The ride takes about 2 - 2 1/2 hours and can be bumpy at times. Also remember, Not throw trash the sea

After another 2h 45m you finally made it to Galapagos, Baltra airport.There is only one run-way and no taxi way, but there aren't too many flights anyway. Once you get to the terminal, you get your National Park permit (100USD) and get your carry on bags checked for food, just in case. Just a short stroll away is the Baggage Claim. There aren't any conveyor belts, just tables with rolls that the workers use to push your luggage onto. Once everyone's luggage is there and the official gives a sign, everyone storms forward and grabs their luggage. As if the island is going to errode while you wait. You're getting out of the airport and depending on your style of travel, either get herded towards one of the tour busses or the public one. I was traveling idependend so it's public bus. Once it's full (read: very full, no standing room) you start your 10 min drive along the winding road. You cross lava plains, see lots of cactus and you get the first glimps on why Darwin called at least parts of the islands desolate. You arrive at the little channel that seperates Baltra and Santa Cruz island, unload from the bus and get on the ferry. The luggage goes on top and you inside (not that there are windows). The fare is $1 and the ride takes 5 min. On the other side you choose your next mode of transport. The public bus (I think around $4) takes you to town or you take one of the taxis. Taxis here are white pick up trucks. I was a bit constrained for time so I choose the taxi ($25) to make it to my ferry to go to Isla Isabela. The road to Puerto Ayora is fairly smooth and most traffic is from the taxis and busses coming from the airport pick up. Congratulations, you made it in time to get a ticket for the ferry to Isabela. The ferries are speedboats aka little yacht type runabouts with 3 x 200hp susukys in the back. The return fare is $55. Get to the port 30 min before your departure (there is a 2pm boat and I think one in the early morning), get your bags checked and sealed again (inter island transport of fruit and vegetable is prohibited) and registered for the transport. There are Navy officials present at all times and make sure the lists are handled correctly. The speedboats don't land at the pier, you have to take a little panga water taxi. Luggage goes in the front, passangers in the back, the fare is 50ct. When you get to the speedboat, choose your seat. I heard the front can be with little air, the back is most stable but noisy. Also, take a wind/rain jacket, it can be cold and windy on the ocean. The ride takes about 2 - 2 1/2 hours and can be bumpy at times. Also remember, Not throw trash the sea

Nobody said the Galapagos are easy to get to. There might have been easier ways, but this was my journey: Fly from San Francisco to El Salvador leaving at 1.30am and arriving at 8.30am. Spend a lot of time at the airport. Wait for the 2pm whirlwind tour of the beachside. Get past the queue at the immigration because you're a VIP guest of the government, get out of the airport into the tropical heat. Get in a car and drive to the beach while learning a little about El Salvador. Then drive to the fishing pier where they lift the little pangas right out of the water onto the pier with a crane. Grab some food and then head back to the airport just in time for an epic sunset. Jump on the next plane that takes you to Guayaquil, your port of entry to Ecuador. Ignore the advice of the check-in person in SFO that told you your luggage will go straight to Galapagos. Because your luggage is actually on the belt and you better pick it up, go through immigration and customs and then find out that your airport hotel pickup isn't there. Get a cab for 5USD (yes, Ecuador, like El Salvador is only using USD) to get to the hotel where they are in disbelief that you actually arrived at 1.30am (like you told them in the booking form). That shower will feel great! At 6.30am, get in the next cab, back to the airport, find out where you have to get your bag inspected for any goods prohibited in Galapagos, then check in.

Nobody said the Galapagos are easy to get to. There might have been easier ways, but this was my journey: Fly from San Francisco to El Salvador leaving at 1.30am and arriving at 8.30am. Spend a lot of time at the airport. Wait for the 2pm whirlwind tour of the beachside. Get past the queue at the immigration because you're a VIP guest of the government, get out of the airport into the tropical heat. Get in a car and drive to the beach while learning a little about El Salvador. Then drive to the fishing pier where they lift the little pangas right out of the water onto the pier with a crane. Grab some food and then head back to the airport just in time for an epic sunset. Jump on the next plane that takes you to Guayaquil, your port of entry to Ecuador. Ignore the advice of the check-in person in SFO that told you your luggage will go straight to Galapagos. Because your luggage is actually on the belt and you better pick it up, go through immigration and customs and then find out that your airport hotel pickup isn't there. Get a cab for 5USD (yes, Ecuador, like El Salvador is only using USD) to get to the hotel where they are in disbelief that you actually arrived at 1.30am (like you told them in the booking form). That shower will feel great! At 6.30am, get in the next cab, back to the airport, find out where you have to get your bag inspected for any goods prohibited in Galapagos, then check in.

A long time coming - finally I'm on the way to the Galapagos. Ever since meeting HARRIET, the Galapagos Tortoise that lived at the Australia Zoo, some ten years ago, I wanted to go and see this archipelago. The wait is over, I'm on my way!

Day 4 Already the last day. It seems like the sharks want to put up a show for us. Especially in the afternoon, there is a lot of interactions. Especially a big male named Thor is making quite a splash. By about 2pm, they have to almost drag a couple of us our of the cages. It's just too good to go...

Day 4 Already the last day. It seems like the sharks want to put up a show for us. Especially in the afternoon, there is a lot of interactions. Especially a big male named Thor is making quite a splash. By about 2pm, they have to almost drag a couple of us our of the cages. It's just too good to go...

Day 3 - Night Dive After BBQ dinner on the upper deck we go for a night dive with the ROV. The boat is in about 80m of water, to make it to the seafloor faster, I put a 3lb dive weight on the tether at about 15m. That acts as a clump weight and will give me the chance to explore for about 30m around. We end up diving to about 95m. Everyone is astonished how much life there is. One of the first things we see is a big, purple gorgonian fan. Also, lots of sponges and yellow corals can be seen. Behind a rock, we come across a lobster who's not impressed with us disturbing the calmness of the night with our lights.

Day 3 This is already going to be our last full day on the Island. Time goes too fast if you have fun. In the last couple of days, The research group, with the help of some freedivers, tagged two sharks with new tracking devices. Besides an acoustic tag, they have accelerometers, depth, temperature and even a camera aka 'critter cam'. The researchers hope to get a better understanding of the movements and the interactions of the sharks. I met with Mark, one of the freedivers, who is working with the DAREWIN Project. This group tries to analyze and one day decode Whale song. A very interesting project and maybe another application for the ROVs. Meanwhile, Mauricio is preparing new receivers for the acoustic tags that will be deployed around the bay. These receivers are good for 6 months and log the presence of sharks swimming by.

Day 2 After talking to Mauricio and the other experts, I decided to camouflage the ROV somewhat. I use Electrical tape to put a pattern on and hide most of the white. There is a shark in the water and I try to play it safe and stay close to the cages. The shark tries to go for the bait a few times, passes by the cages and by the ROV a few times. Everyone is very excited, both diving with the sharks as well as seeing the ROV in the water. Mauricio and the other scientists are especially interested. This is certainly a tool they can use t study the sharks and other fauna of the island in new ways.

After 20 hours of transit through a swelling sea, we arrive at Isla Guadeloupe. It's volcanic origin clearly visible in striations on its cliffs. The cliffs are dropping off straight into the ocean and pretty much continue right down to 500 or 600 meters. Three more boats are on anchor, Jonathan gives a dive briefing, and soon the diving cages are lowered into the water. We get word from one of the other boats, that for the last two days, they didn't have any sharks, nor any baitfish either. They assume it has to do with the full moon in the last few days. We decide to put the ROV in the water. Everyone is very excited. Right at the start, one of the boatsmen spots a turtle and we go and check it out without much trouble. I try to reach the bottom to see if there is anything down there. We're in 80m of water and it takes a little to reach the bottom. At about 75m we reach a zone with lots of yellow jacks, no sharks though. Because of the distance to the boat, we can't get all the way to the bottom and come back up. Shortly after the first shark interaction. One of the GWS approaches and we get it on video but no bitting happened. Another couple of interactions happened, including a bump. Luckily no bites :) It's time for me to get in the water. Even on the ROV footage, it was clear why this place is one of the best spots for diving with Great White Sharks. The water is relatively warm with 20 degrees C/68F and the visibility seems endless. The blue of the water is mesmerizing. Before dinner, Mauricio held a presentation about the sharks here in Guadeloupe.

We're boarding the Sea Escape, our home for the next few days out on the ocean.The Sea Escape is the only Mexican operated boat that goes to Isla de Guadeloupe and with only 15 guests is one of the smaller vessels. That makes it easy to get to know your fellow travelers and the local economy is supported too. With us on board will be Dr Mauricio Hoyos from the Pelagio Kakunja organisation who is researching the sharks on the island for many years.

The car is loaded. The people are excited! Lets start the road trip to Ensenada!

The ROV is ready, cameras are primed, dive gear is checked.Everything is checked in and ready to go. Ready to fly to San Diego and commence the trip!

I'll be joining Michael Bolton on his 10th year trip to Isla de Guadeloupe on this Shark Conservation Expedition. Together with Shark conservation experts and scientists, we will dive with these magnificent creatures.

Back in Sydney After a long night with 4 flights, 2 of them red eye flights, I'm back in Sydney. A great trip for sure. More debriefing will follow.

Dive Log day 6 dive 2 Yamagiri Maru The last dive of this trip. Used as a cargo ship for 'special cargo' by the Japanese Imperial Navy, she was struck down by two dive bombers. Today there is a huge hole visible amidships that would certainly have caused her sinking. Most of her holds are empty but she still carries 18.1" armor piercing shells that weigh 3,219 lb. and could be fired 23 miles. Access to her engine room with her triple expansion engine and giant tools still mounted to the wall is easily accessible. Dive time 45 min, max depth 27m

Dive log day 5 dive 3 Hoyo Maru The 3rd dive of the day took us to the Hoyo Maru a former tanker. Capsized when she sunk and upside down in 30 meters depth. On the attack or when she sunk, her stern almost broke off and lays in only about 3 meters. We followed her keel over the hard coral encrusted hull and made it to her starboard side down towards her deck. The superstructure is either buried in the sand or crushed for the most part. Crossing underneath her in the twilight just in front of her bridge and made our way shallower and towards the stern. There are giant holes into her cargo holds and diving into the cavernous expanse hidden in the darkness has an eery feel to it. Crossing back across the hull we made our way to a hole big enough to drive a truck through. Difficult to say if it stems from a torpedo or bomb blast. Descending through the opening we entered into a storage area which contained all kinds of artifacts including a spare (ship) propeller blade. Dive time 47 min, max depth 30m

Dive log day 6 dive 1 San Francisco Maru Friday has come and it's our last dive day. The first dive today was being planned since early this week. The San Francisco Maru is arguably THE wreck of Chuuk lagoon. 117m long, sitting in just over 60m of water. She's called the Million Dollar Wreck because when she sunk she took her full cargo of bullets, bombs, mines, trucks and tanks with her to the bottom of the sea. Her holds are still packed to the brim to this day. Her foredeck is in about 45 to 50m of water. If you want to spend any time on her you want to put some planning into it. With a common dive computer, you have less than 6 minutes of No Decompression time and that includes the descend. We planned a dive for about 15 minutes. Given the full week of diving we had behind us, the international travel before us and the training experience level of the involved divers, this was the safe choice. It still gave us a runtime of about 60 min based on the plan. As we only had one dive on her, the plan was to descend (planned were 2 min), traverse forward over the bridge onto the forward holds where trucks were kept, past the 3 battletanks on her foredeck and around the bow with the impressive gun. We had 5 divers plus our very experienced dive guide. Everybody had enough air to run the decompression independently on air and everyone had an independent air source. After everyone was ready, we descended along the mooring line and pretty much followed the prearranged plan. There was so little time to see her full beauty but just enough to follow the advice of a diver who did a lot of dives on her: When you reach the bow, swim out a little, turn around and look back. An impressive site for sure. 15 minutes and a single dive do her no justice. We have to come back! Dive time 65 min, max depth 50 m

Dive log day 5 dive 2 Gosei Maru On February 17th 1944, the Gosei Maru was one of 4 cargo ships in the Sixth Fleet Anchorage selected for attack. Today, her bow lays in about 36m with the ship on her port side with a heavy list. When she sunk, her holds were mostly empty except for some long lance torpedos which still can be found in her holds and on the sand around her. Her stern is fairly shallow and the propeller/rudder area is covered in a great variety of corals and swarmed by fish.

Dive log day 5, dive 1 Sankisan Maru There is a lot of confusion about the Sankisan Maru. Some sources say that the Sankisan Maru was launched 1942 in Japan. Other sources point to an American vessel, the Red Hook that was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and renamed as Sankisan Maru. Lost in the fog of war is also the story of how the ship we now call Sankisan Maru was sunk. Fact is, today the wreck sits in about 27m depth. Her aft section is totally blown apart. What is left of her holds is heavily loaded with ammunition, truck and airplane parts. Her superstructure and part her masts are covered in beautiful soft corals and are home to a wide variety of fish species. Dive time 50 min, max depth 25 m.

Just a quick update: had 3 great dives today. Very busy day and tomorrow is going to be a big one. Photo update will follow tomorrow.

Dive log day 4, dive 2The second dive took us to the Heian Maru. She was a large passenger/cargo liner. With 55m she is the largest wreck in the lagoon. During her naval career, she was used as a submarine tender and had lots of spares for subs. Her storage is full of torpedoes, periscopes and communication equipment. Today she lays on her port side with a depth to the bottom of about 34m. Being one of the largest ships, she's got the biggest propellers as well. Both are out of the sand and her separated by her giant rudder. Dive time 60 min, max depth 27 m

Dive log day 4Another day, more dives! The morning dive took us to the wreck of the I 169 submarine. This particular wreck has a pretty haunting story attached. During an US air raid in April 1944, the sub tried to escape the planes by quickly diving. Once submerged the crew realized that a valve on the storm ventilation tubes wasn't closed properly and the sub couldn't surface anymore. Rescue divers could make contact with the crew inside but attempts to raise the sub failed and all hands were lost. Later the Japanese used depth charges to render the sub useless. Today the conning tower and the forward section of the sub is blown off and the stern is heavily damaged. Dive time 45 min, max depth 31m

Dive log day 3After we already did 3 dives that day, plans were put in motion for a night dive. The Fujikawa Maru was chosen as we were diving her before and she is compared to the other wrecks not that deep. Driving out to her position at dusk it was amazing as always on how the divemasters and skippers find the location with a pinpoint accuracy. They are not using any GPS, there are usually no surface buoys indicating the location and still, the boat is driving to the location of the submerged mooring line within a meter or two. Upon descend, we still had some light. That quickly faded though and the wreck was cast in eery blackness. Following along we went to check out two of the cargo holds, one containing mainly old fuel tanks the other one the Zero fighther planes that we saw on the day dive. Coming back to the ascend line it was completely dark. It's always a very different feeling today swim in the absolute darkness. I love to turn off the torch on the safety stop and just be one with the ocean. I left my camera on the surface, so no pictures this time. Dive time 45 min, max depth 25m

Dive log day 3The second part of the day was a bit different. We went to see two of the plane wrecks close to the old airstrip. The fist one was the "Betty bomber** and the second one the Emily sea plane. While the first one was shot down, the second one was sitting on a mooring when the US attack started and was sunk I'm place. Sadly, someone had the need to scratch their name into one of the wings Dive 1, time 25min, max depth 20 m Dive 2, time 25min, max depth 15 m

Dive log day 3The first dive today took us to the Nippo Maru, one of the fairly famous wrecks. Her upper deck is quite busy with anti airplane guns, trucks and even a tank. It's a fairly deep dive with depth to the seabed of over 40 m. After descending on the mooring line we headed towards the stern, past the anti airplane guns and the bridge towards the trucks and tank on the foredeck. It's a great dive and again, an impressive dive. Because of the depth and size of the wreck, it's impossible to see all of the wreck in one dive without ranking upon lots of deco. Dive time 50min, max depth 40m.

Second dive took us to the Kensho Maru, a passenger and cargo ship. Besides a slight list to Port she's standing upright in about 40m of water. Her bow gun is fully covered in corals. We passed the cargo holds and made our way into the engine room midships. A small passage way gives way to the expanse of the engine room with boilers and gauges still in place. For being at the hart of the ship, there is a fair amount of light coming in through the angled glass roof that looks a little bit like a greenhouse roof. Out of the engine room, we kept on going towards the stern. Parts of the stern section of the ship is actually blown off. Right in the middle of the stern there is a gapping hole, big enough to drive a car through. As far as I could gather, a bomb hit her right up her tail end. Dive time 55min, max depth 31 m

Exciting day. The first dive took us to the Rio de Janeiro Maru. A Passenger Liner converted into carrier. Today, she's laying on her starboard side in a bit over 30m of water. Opon descend we made our way towards the stern. The port side screw is looming above the rudder and beside the growth one could think it just been turning. Parts of the name plate is still visible, just reading RIO DE. Going forward we pass the stern gun to get to the cargo holds. Still plenty of sake bottles line the floor and machine gun barrels lining the walls. Continuing forward to the stern we came across blast holes, explosions on the inside of the ship that ripped the hull. Dive time 56 min, max depth 28 m

The second dive took us to the wreck of the Shinkoku Maru. She was an oil freighter carrying vital oil and fuel for the Japanese Imperial Navy. Besides being fully overgrown with soft corals she doesn't have as many external features. Well, that's not quite true, her size is impressive. The bottom lays in 38m, the bridge is in about 12m depth. Dive time 55min, max depth 25m.

Today's dives were spectacular. And they were only the checkout dives! First dive in the morning took us to the Fujikawa Maru. Built as a cargo ship in 1938, she was converted to an armed aircraft transport carrier. In one of the forward cargo holds are 4 disassembled Mitsubishi Zero fighther planes. An impressive ship, her keel in over 30 meters of water, with pretty much every surface being covered in a thick growth and beautiful soft corals. Dive time 47 min, max depth 28m.

Leg 3 of 3 - Were here!After flying over parts of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea, stopping over in Port Moresby (Papua new Guinea) for a few hours and another 3 hour flight, we finally made it to Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Tomorrow morning: Dive Plan!

Leg 2 of 3Back to the airport. Our group of 24 is complete and the next flight is going to take us to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. **Let's go! **

Leg 1At the Airport in Sydney now all checked in. Next stop Brisbane. Tomorrow morning we leave nice and early to Port Moresby.

Follow along on this expedition for a deep dive into history. Truk Lagoon is well known and well (scuba) dived, nonetheless it's exciting to explore the many shipwrecks that are slowly rusting on the sea floor. My trip will take me from Sydney, Australia to Brisbane and then onwards via Port Moresby to Truk Lagoon. Stay tuned! The picture is of the bow gun of the Fujikawa Maru, one of the prominent wrecks in Truk. (Via Wikipedia)

Look at that what we did! - chassis - e-chassis - top side adapter - lights - imu - battery and main end caps - wire harness - electronics - camera -escs - motors -potting of the esc, battery end caps and MEC That means, we have almost all done. Still some fiddly bits to do but we rocked the past 8 hours. Thanks to Neill from Robots & Dinosaurs and Scott from NSW Wrecks for helping me guide and everybody that was involved in the build today!

After a quick skills lab where we learned how to glue acrylics and how a solder iron works, we started out build. We split in 2 to 3 groups and got a lot done!

The tools are packed. The demo ROV is ready. Lets build some robots!

So, the first OpenROV deployment of this Expedition happened today in Balmain. We did 4 or 5 tries to find the structure based on the site scan data just to be interrupted by the Sydney Ferries. That's why you deploy an ROV that you can pull in in the case the ferry comes around and not a diver. As the exact position from shore is not yet known and the water is rather murky we tried to run some search patterns following the compass headings but sadly, the most exciting thing we found was a deck of cards with a bow and arrow. A few lessons learned on this deployment: - Know your compass heading - if you deploy in a boating channel and you don't want to pull back every time a boat goes by, don't put too many floats on your tether. If the tether sinks to the ground and you are deep enough, let the boat pass - Stop the screencastify video BEFORE your laptop battery dies - we don't have the screencast :-( Anyway, a big thanks to Sarah, Scott, Neill and Bryan! I wan't to go back and have another go now that we have a bit of a better idea!

We're at Balmain, Illoura Reserve Balmain East NSW 2041 Australia

In a bit more than 7 hours I'll be on the way to Kavieng! My name is Dominik and I'm part of Team PNG as a ROV building specialist and Software Developer. I'm writing a lot of Software for the OpenROV project and will be guiding interested participants on how to write their own extensions for the ROV. In my other life I'm a Software Developer working in Sydney, Australia and care about all things in and about the Ocean and try to educate people about protecting this unique environment. See you soon!

Following Andrews example - well he arranged his things a lot nicer - here my packing list: - Chromebook to control ROVs - 2 pairs of swimmers - Hat and sunglasses - Dry bags (I like them to carry my cloths in them) - Shirts and underwear for a few days - Toiletry bag - Beach towel (maybe we get a chance to get close to the sea :) - GoPro with tray mound and light - Goods for the ROV building workshop - box with all kinds of cables and adapter for all those electricity hungry devices - Rainjacket - Notebook (paper), Notebook (computer) and red OpenROV hat - Water bottle - Jacket for the flight to net get a cold on the plane - 'Thunder Down Under' in its travel carry on case all ready to go!

Great success! Yesterday I went for a couple of SCUBA dives from a boat in lake of Zug. Initially I planed to deploy the ROV from the boat but due to time constraints it didn't happen. Visibility on the scuba dives wasn't great but from the shore, the top looked really nice. So, setting up the ROV and soon enough a few of my fellow divers and their kids were all eager to have a look. We dropped the ROV from a little jetty and went for a spin! I think the picture shows it all... Not only Mirja and Julian had a great time (and on the day later still speak about the robot) but it looks like the big kits had fun too! Lesson learned: - Ducks look odd from the underside and don't like the ROV driving around them - A lake cruise ship taking off from the jetty a few meters away can cause havoc. I think my ROV did a somersault :) - it's possible to get your tether hooked onto some wood logs on the ground - and free yourself with the ROV

Today was officially the first real dive in a lake here in Switzerland for my ROV! The Wohlensee is an artificial lake for hydroelectric power creation. It was created by building a dam into the river Aare. It's about 12km long but only 700m at it's widest with a maximum depth of 20m. It looks very calm from the surface but once I put the ROV into the water it was quite clear that there is a bit more current than I expected to encounter. It's hard for me to say how much current there was but it was for sure more than the ROV could easily handle! In the shallows, from the pontoon jetty where I launched the ROV it was fine, but jut a meter or 2 from the jetty the ROV was taken away quickly. On power level 4 I managed to fight the current to come back but manoeuvring was tricky especially as the fast forward movements produces a lot of downwards tilt that is hard to fight with the prop. At one point, probably because the ESCs had to do some work and the water was about 18 degrees, I had some fogging in the electronics tube. A bit of 'computer air', bottled gas in a can, would fix tat though.

Today, I had the chance to show my OpenROV to a group of Microsoft .NET software developers that gathered in Bern for their monthly user group meeting. As I just piggy-backed on another event, it was only a short 30 minutes presentation but the girls and guys loved the ROV! I think I few are thinking about getting one :) Thanks for the .NET User Group Bern for having me! dnug-bern.ch/index.aspx

Just had my first deployment with ROV #463 in the river Aare. I made sure that there wasn't too much current, so I chose a place at a little dam. This was a test deployment to see if the ROV made the trip over safely, and it DID! I had two small problems: - I didn't have a new desiccant bag and no 'computer air' to put dry air into the electronics tube, so I had a little bit of condensation. Together with the visibility that was a bit impaired by a lot of nutrients that makes the water quite 'milky' There was a bit of sea grass and I managed to get it around one of my props :) lesson learned

Great news and things ahead! I just talked to a fellow OpenROV builder here in Switzerland. He has a boat on Lake Zurich, so I guess I'll add lake Zurich to the list too! Awesome!

I'm on a trip around the globe! I can't do too many stops, but I'm going to spend a few weeks in Switzerland and I plan to put ROV #463 into as many bodies of water as I can! Destinations I will plan to take it to: - Lake Lucern - Lake Zug - Lake of Constance - The river Aare near Aarau And hopefully more! Here is a picture of my ROV safely stowed away in my carry on just before i board the plane in SFO.

Wow, we're just back from a night dive with ROV #463 It was my first dive with my ROV in the open water and it happened to be a night dive too! Some trimming of the buoyancy to be done and see why I had some drops of water in my electronics tube and starboard battery tube. Follow my ROV on twitter for updates: ROV #463

Wow, we're just back from a night dive with ROV #463 It was my first dive with my ROV in the open water and it happened to be a night dive too! Some trimming of the buoyancy to be done and see why I had some drops of water in my electronics tube and starboard battery tube. Follow my ROV on twitter for updates: ROV #463

Another first: Zoe's deploying her ROV! She has to finish some things on it, but it got wet and was racing around the test tank!

A day of many firsts! After a quick test run last night ROV #463 finally for its maiden flight in the OpenROV HQ test tank! All went well! Hooray! Another first: We're about to go to the expedition to lake Tahoe, another first for me!

Just getting ROV #463 ready in time for the next expedition! Cure Expoxy - Cure!

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