04/07/01 - Day 3
Rough weather halts progress
Rob White reports
Today the ocean began to show us her true colours. As our search ship pushed deeper
into the Atlantic, winds gusted up to 42 knots, and the sea state worsened sharply -
with nine foot waves putting even 'Northern Horizon's seakeeping qualities to the test.
But the big decision's been taken. We're off to search for the wreck of the giant
German battleship 'Bismarck' first - so we can tell the whole story of the epic
battle that began with the sinking of HMS 'Hood', and ended with the destruction
of 'Bismarck' - one of the most powerful warships the world had ever seen.
The Atlantic gets rough
For Search Director David Mearns, the weather is more than just a hard ride - it's
a real worry. The clock's running, and he wants to get his towfish sonar working as soon
as possible. But as he told his team today: "You can be tricked by the weather...if it
gets worse you may find yourself with a real problem when you have to get the towfish
back out of the water."
Ron Schmidt, Supervisor for our dive company Oceaneering Technologies, agrees. "This is
where I have to take a hard line" he said. "It's better to hold off a little bit and not
damage the equipment than to damage it and have it not working in nice weather. That's
David's frustration was plain
But tonight as we arrived close to where we'll start the 'Bismarck' search, David's
frustration was plain as he gazed at the plot showing our ship just over the search area.
But we'll all know what's next soon enough - first weather check for the sonar tomorrow
is at first light!