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California Caves Survey Project—Part 2 July 9-14, 2017 Yesterday I posted a little about Bob Ballard’s project to look for signs of early man during the days of the Bering Land Bridge. I showed his exploration vessel EV Nautilus, and the ROVs (remote operated vehicles) being used. Today I am going to talk about the diving. The caves along the paleoshoreline that he hopes to find early man evidence would be about 300 feet deep now. That is too deep to go looking on a hit or miss basis. So he is perfecting his technology using shallower sites. The ASV (automated surface vessel) is deployed to provide high resolution benthic (seafloor) maps. Multibeam shadows or black areas are considered potential caves. Our team of three divers then go down to investigate. If we found openings, we would enter and conduct preliminary surveys, ultimately using the data to draft maps of the caves we explored. Some of the caves were already known, some were new. All of us were using rebreathers.
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