It has now been just over one month since the cameras were first deployed and so far they are working very well. Paul did another port cleaning today in the colder water to remove some small amount of growth on the view ports. Aside from the view ports, the rest of the housings, cables, cage, etc. are covered in a thick layer of green-brown algal growth.
A quick snorkel today to clean the optical ports and check that the pumps are still running well. There is a lot of growth on everything except for the optical ports and copper parts. The water is green and full of small kelp fragments from the recent swell. Again the SPC2 strobe port shows the most growth of the four ports, but it is miminal.
With the increased swell and wind early this week, we saw an increase in the amount of growth on cameras. The strobe view port of the SPC2 is facing upward and exposed to direct sunlight during the day. As a result the fouling was too much for the water cleaning system and some growth manged to take hold on the port. This caused some of the imaged objects to have a light background instead of the typical dark background. After a quick snorkel and manual cleaning today the port is free of growth and the image quality is back to normal. The water jet on this port was also adjusted to maximize fluid velocity over the port surface. We’ll wait and see if this help mitigate growth in the future.
A moderate west swell of 4-6 feet is hitting the pier today and should last through Wednesday. As the swell brings more wave and surf action near the cameras we see a large increase in the abundance of suspended sand particles. A few examples are shown below.
A nice image from today of a possible Eucalanus californicus