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Desdemona Sands Light site visit May 14, 2007

Monday was an attempt to visually document CORIE operational activities with CMOP's new Sony HC7 HD video camcorder. We departed MERTS around 11:30AM and headed for Hammond with a full crew, Michael, Dan, and Charles for operations, with Paul doing the videography and taking stills.

Operationally, the tasks were to retrieve and replace an instruments at the Desdemona Sands Light and Sand Island platforms.

The weather was warm and sunny with a light wind, the water was very calm, an unusual situation for the Columbia River estuary at any time of year.

The R/V Corie (a Zodiac) went into the water at the Hammond boat ramp while Michael and Charles changed into their dry suits. We all hopped in and steamed towards Desdemona Sands Light.[img_assist|nid=449|title=Launch from Hammond|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=200|height=150].
[img_assist|nid=450|title=Desdemona Sands Light|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=200|height=150]

The tasks at Desdemona were to recover and replace the CT instrument, and retrieve a lost weight belt. The entire procedure was captured to glorious HD video. The 3 workers were busy pretty much all the time. Dan assisted Michael and Charles prepare for the dive, caught the retrieved instrument, prepared the replacement instrument to go into the water, hiked up the platform to disconnect the cable and zip-tie the new cable to the ladder. [img_assist|nid=451|title=On the ladder at Desdemona|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=113|height=150] Michael and Charles were in the water first fetching the instrument from the sea bed then returning to deposit the new instrument. Charles searched and recovered the lost weight belt. There was plenty of activity. Time was a factor, we had arrived at just beyond high tide and with the outgoing tide, the current was picking up in the direction of the mouth of the Columbia River.

Concluding the work at Desdemona, we lit off in the direction of Sand Island. Unfortunately, by this time the outgoing tidal current was too strong to allow diving so the rest of the mission was canceled. We ogled the pelicans on nearby pilings and marveled at a barking sea lion.[img_assist|nid=452|title=Pelicans near Sand Island Light|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=200|height=150]

We left Sand Island and went on a short sight-seeing trip, first to the station at Jetty A, where nesting cormorants had pretty much made a mess of things on the platform, and then off to see the cliffs and lighthouse at Cape Disappointment. The weather and the wind cooperated to allow for some beautiful video clips and still photos of all the wonders.[img_assist|nid=453|title=Cape Disappointment Lighthouse|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=200|height=150]

Returned to Hammond, disembarked and departed for lunch, MERTS, and on back to DoSE.