Deep-Water Trials in France

Toulon, France
43.124228000000, 5.928000000000
Journal Entry:

Hi again, everyone, it’s Chad Bonin from the Endurance22 Expedition sub-sea team. The last time we connected, I had just finished getting my first look at the Saab Sabertooth AUV/ROV unit that will dive some 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) to the bottom of the Weddell Sea to locate and map the Endurance wreck. From there, I traveled directly to southern France, where I spent a very busy three weeks testing the limits of the Sabertooth unit in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea near Toulon. 

“Plan A” for the Endurance22 Expedition is to use a modern icebreaker ship to bust through the Antarctic ice of the Weddell Sea and reach the exact spot where Endurance sank. If we are successful, the sub-sea team will launch the AUV/ROV unit directly from the back (or stern) of the ship. We spent our first week in France practicing just that--launching and recovering, over and over. During this phase, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and that’s the point of this type of testing. When something broke or didn’t go to plan, the team tried a different approach. When that failed, we tried something else.