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07/07/01 - Day 6

Staying on track

Rob White reports

The trick now is: stay on track. 'Northern Horizon's pathway over the site where 'Bismarck' probably lies - pointing east - is out of whack with the prevailing weather conditions. (Trust us to do it the hard way.) As the steering display on the bridge shows, the ship is having to travel half-sideways, or "crab", to stay on course.

The sonar is lifted into the ocean

The sonar line must be kept absolutely straight

"Wind and tide are all from one side" explained Captain Keith Herron. "We've got to crab a lot to keep on line."

Keith's task is made no easier by the speed the ship must travel to keep the towfish safe - just 2 knots. That's hardly enough to keep steerage way on her. Constant vigilance is essential - or the search could run into big trouble.

More vigilance is needed at the other end of the ship - dealing with the miles and miles of steel cable towing the sonar behind 'Northern Horizon'. Coming in or going out, it has to wind onto the giant drums just right - or there's hell to pay.

sailor boy and girl

Painting the reconstruction scenes

So, a member of the Oceaneering team must stand and watch it come in through a regulator designed to make it lay straight. Every last bit of it. Vital work - but one team member made a strong early bid for the 'Understatement of the Expedition' award when he descibed it as...well..."boring"!

Maybe he needs to take up painting. Assistant Producer Emily Roe and Thales Geosystem's navigator Chris Jones have. It's all part of the business of making 'Northern Horizon' as much like a warship as possible, for recreating key moments in the 'Hood'/'Bismarck' story.

But they're not going to have to do ALL of the ship. Or if they are, no-one's had the nerve to tell them yet!

Full Listing
26/07/01 -
Finally - a service of remembrance

The Hood Photo Appeal

25/07/01 -
More big discoveries

23/07/01 -
She's found!

22/07/01 -
Keeping in position

21/07/01 -
Tracking the ocean floor

20/07/01 -
Sonar finds "promising target"

19/07/01 -
Combing the search box

18/07/01 -
Transfers and goodbyes

17/07/01 -
Meet the search team

16/07/01 -
Meet the survey team

15/07/01 -
Meet the experts

14/07/01 -
Meet the film crew

13/07/01 -
Farewell to the Bismarck

12/07/01 -
A service of remembrance

11/07/01 -
More filming from the deep

10/07/01 -
The Bismarck plaque is laid

09/07/01 -
The Bismarck is found!

07/07/01 -
Staying on track

06/07/01 -
The sonar is finally launched

05/07/01 -
More frustration for the team

04/07/01 -
Rough weather halts progress

03/07/01 -
Expedition to film the Bismarck

03/07/01 -
Holding a steady course

02/07/01 -
Northern Horizon leaves Cork

28/06/01 -
David Mearns in Webchat

27/06/01 -
ITN's Rob White reports from the ship