Fiskardo-Greece 2015

Latest update May 23, 2016 Started on May 20, 2015
The 2015 OCEAN71 expedition will take place in Fiskardo, in the northern part of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece. The endeavor of this new expedition encompasses two different missions : the survey of underwater remains of a shot and sunk english Beaufighter bomber plane and an ethological approach of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Both missions will deploy innovative survey techniques by air or diving investigations.

May 20, 2015
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And last one. Historical reconstruction of the crash of the Beaufighter. (2/2)


This is so beautiful! Great work Antoine!

Hi everyone,

We are so proud today to present you one of the final steps of our Beaufighter mission. Antoine, one of the team members, is a very good sailor, but he is also a fantastic drawer. For three months, he has been working on an alternate way to explain what we are doing . The result is incredible. We have self-published a 65 pages of cartoon that present the Octopus Foundation, who we are and the work we are trying to accomplish for the public. Unfortunately folks, it is right now still in French. For English, we would need a publisher. Anyone interested around you ? To start with, here are a couple of visuals, so you have an idea of how incredible Antoine's drawings are. Thanks to everyone.


Here it is. Finally ! The 3D printed model just finished to be painted. Thanks to this model, we can now show everyone underwater areas of interest, either biologically or archeologically. We are now ready to open more windows on the seas and oceans.

Here are the final products that we can display for scientists and the public :

1) The 3D digital model
2) The orthophotoplan
3) The 3D printed model

Thank you so much to all our supporters and everyone that has and will help us achieve our endeavor ! Let's start the adventure !!


Wow, your model looks great! You are definitely going to have to write a "how-to" for each of your products. You guys are definitely leading the way right now.

Thanks a lot Kevin. It is such a great support to have some comment like yours. No problem for the "how-to". We are thinking about how to do it the best way.

Here is the final result of our May 2015 mission in Fiskardo (Greece). The laser 3D printed of our working zone (80m * 40m at 17 meters deep) by Sculpteo. Thanks to this model the OCEAN71 Magazine team proves that the ocean floor is not anymore accessible just to the major players of the industry but also to the PUBLIC.

I take this opportunity to announce you our latest project : The 2015 Fiskardo mission was a pilot, in order to see if we could achieve with simple means a way to show the ocean floor and all the biological and cultural treasures.

Today, I am very proud to announce the launch of the "OCTOPUS Foundation" that will aim to make things a lot easier to show everyone of you these underwater marvels and inform you a lot better ! A lot is to come in the next couple of months.

Julien Pfyffer

Note : Thanks to all our partners for this pilot project and Novalta for the 3D modeling solution.


For information, here is the original version of the underwater plan. Enjoy !


Here is a nice Bonus post. After having completed a planned flight over our working zone with our Phantom 2, equipped with the Datalink chip, we managed to create an aerial plan of the zone. In it, we implemented the underwater plan, thanks to buoys' positions on the surface. We call this image : the window on the sea. Here it is finally, our plan for the future. To make this unknown world available to everyone !


A window on the sea! Love it!

Hey OpenExplorer community,

The OCEAN71 Magazine team has been working in the past weeks on processing all the data collected on the Fiskardo underwater spot. We are proud to say that the result looks great. We managed all together to make a full 3D model of the two squares we worked on for almost 10 days.

Here it is. Just play with it !

Wow. This is just incredible!!

Fantastic work
Really love what you have done

Great work, congratulation on the outstanding result !

Great Work! I'm curious how you got the 3D model Embedded in OpenExplorer. I have models too, but can't seem to figure out how to do that.

Mission Day 11 – Ultimate Bonus
For the fun and to crown one successful mission, the Novalta Tech team has proceeded to a last OpenROV test enhancing its capabilities with the addition of an action camera. The last minute call for an unprepared OpenROV mission ended up in a quick survey of small wreck lying on the seabed in a nearby bay. A small door open to a vast world of opportunities…

Fantastic structure from motion rendering
I assume this was done with a down facing GoPro mounted on the bottom of the OpenROV
Love it a great way to document sites

Thanks a lot for the comment. Yes, absolutely. This was done thanks to a GoPro mounted underneath our OpenRov. It's not perfect, mainly because we have a lot of problem driving the Rov straight. It has a strong tendency to go on right.

This is incredible

Mission Day 11
The Expedition team is about to split in two parts for the end of the mission. One part of the team will sail the boat back to Lefkas and will proceed with some structured scanning of the working zone on its way to Eclipse’s summer port. The other half of the group will do some last OpenROV testing before packing. An obviously good reason to do a group photo celebrating the success of the Fiskardo – Greece 2015 mission.


Nice job team!! Pioneering effort!

Hello Team.
You may recall that by sheer luck Becky and I were fortunate enough to witness you all working on this amazing project last Saturday (30th May) when I was diving with Fiskado Divers on the same boat trip. It was a real privilege for both Becky and I to spend time with you all and learn about your work. it was a real highlight to our visit.
What you have achieved is incredible.
I am very keen to stay in contact with you and follow further missions.
James Tyler (UK).

Thanks a lot David Lang for the support.

Thanks also to James for your comment. The pleasure to have you with us was unanimously shared. We are all glad that both you and Becky had a good time on board and in the water. No problem to stay in contact. For the ones interested, here is the email of the expedition leader. He will dispatch accordingly :

Thanks a lot to all our followers !!! It has been a hell of an expedition !

Many thanks for the email address!
That was going to be my next question..!
I am guessing this is Julien's emai address?
I will send him an email.
Best regards to all.

Indeed. You're right. It's Julien's.

Mission Day 10 – Bonus
An outstanding result proving the incredible innovative capabilities of the Novalta Tech team, this 3D model of working zone 2 offers our followers the opportunity to participate into our underwater investigations eventually allowing them - and you - to “dive” with us on the Beaufighter exploration site. (By the way this site is 400m2).

This is absolutely amazing!...especially if you toggle to full screen mode.
Having visited the divesite myself as a 'spectator' i can confirm what powerful tool this technology is that you have developed.

Hey - wondering what the depth is on this area?

Mission Day 10 – Dives 10 & 11
While the dive team is proceeding with some new exploratory dives outside the working zone the Novalta Tech team follows up on its post-production work processing this amazing orthophoto mapping of one of the working zones here presented at a downscaled resolution of 5 cm/px.


Mission Day 9 – Bonus 2
The tech team from Novalta has processed the batch from today’s acquisition dive and we’re all happy to share with you the amazing results showcasing all the efforts spent in digital mapping of the working zone 2 and its many artifacts. Here is the first 3D model. Enjoy !!!

Oh that's so cool! Is that all from the GoPro imagery? What program are you using to generate the model??

I am blown away! It's incredible to be able to peer Inside the wing! I'm curious, how big is this file? This is the first time a 3D viewer has been uploaded.

Thanks for taking the extra effort to use technology to share our love with the oceans! Great job!

Great 3D image. What camera & program did you use to process in order to produce this image?

Thks all for the great comments. To answer Erika, the file uploaded on Sketchfab is about 5-7 MB. To answer the other question, the camera used is a Nikon D800 in an Ikelite housing. The magic behind the reconstruction, among other things, comes from the Novalta team ( If you are interested, I suggest you contact Charles Venayre in a couple of days when we will be back in Paris. Again, thks to all comments.

Look great

Have you thought of adding to the posts at OpenROV with how you got the data into Sketchfab so we can all share from your experience

Mission Day 9 – Bonus
The Tech team has used a new piece of equipment to improve the OpenROV capacities and behavior. Guess what it is (winner might get a free trip to Fiskardo !!!)


Looks like some piece of a dishwasher haha

Mission Day 9 – Dive 9
In the afternoon, the dive team proceeds with the examination and documentation of new artifacts from the wrecked Beaufighter bomber methodically taking a batch of photos of each of the new spotted remains. Eventually, one piece looking like some kind of an exhaust pipe - or at least part of it – would reveal a serial number that may ultimately confirm the identification of the plane.


Mission Day 9 – Dive 8
Due to extreme wind conditions the Mission Day 8 has been dedicated to home work in order to improve some electronic issues on various tools including the OpenROV, the cameras... Today the dive team is back underwater to perform another set of data acquisition by scooter. Both photo and video modes are used on each ride while surveying working zone 2.


The dual gopro mounts looks like a custom mount. Did you develop this yourself for that scooter? Is it a DiveX?

Nice looking SfM set up
What angles are the GoPro's set at? How much over coverage are they getting?

Mission Day 8

Here is an example of how new tech can be used to help journalists tell stories : using aerial footage taken by our drone and applying a 3D reconstruction of the Bristol Beaufighter, we are able to show you the final 30 seconds of the fighter from the moment it was shot by the German canon to the final crash in the water where we are currently studying the remains.

This is just unreal! So so cool!

Glad that you like our work. The idea is really to vulgarize complex stuff happening at sea and tell it to the public... So, we put all our efforts in that kind of media. Thks a lot for the comment

Mission Day 7 – Afternoon
The tech team from Novalta headed by Technology officers Charles and Fabien who have defined much of the expedition’s acquisition procedures spends most of the after dive stages processing the data collected underwater, putting much effort into digital underwater mapping of the working zones. Today’s task has been dedicated to post production handling of the artifacts’ photographs and to digital processing of their 3D representations.


Wow, this is stunning work!

Mission Day 7 – Dive 7
The underwater team is now focusing on the artifacts lying on the seabed of the working zone. Each remains of the RAF NE595 Bristol Beaufighter bomber plane is now methodically documented in order to comply with identification and digital graphic computing requirements. At the end the final artifact list will help implementing the plane’s tragic ending and its related account.


Wow, I am absolutely blown away by how . Is it deep enough to be out of big wave action or do you imagine this wing has rolled quite far from the it's counterparts?

Thanks Erika for your comment. Our working depth is between 15 and 17m. Our problem is not so much the impact of the waves on the pieces but more the fact that the locals in 1944 were in desperate needs of metal parts. The crashed Beaufighter was seen as a nice opportunity to get aluminium. When the Germans left the island after the war, they "forgot" their explosives that the Greek locals then used to blow the wreck and get pieces of metals.

Mission Day 6 – Afternoon
Getting higher… The surface team with drone master Fabien and Expedition leader Julien have walked across the dense coastal vegetation to touch base near the working zone’s shore. The multirotor drones soon roar in the sky above the dive site undertaking aerial mapping surveys of the working zone while the dive team starts underwater acquisition of first batches of photogrammetric data.


What's your method and tools for underwater photogrammetry?

Mission Day 6
“Getting high…” This morning the multirotor drones are set free for some fresh air testing. All systems proving clear and operational a first drone is sent up in the blue sky for an opening flight over the Fiskardo bay and harbor with aerial shooting of the Fiskardo Divers boat leaving for the morning dive. Our underwater photographer Phil has joined the boat to do some general surface and underwater filming.


Can't wait to see how this turns out! Good luck today!

Great - looking forward to the video!

Wow - this looks like a beautiful place!

Mission Day 5 – Dive 5
On the afternoon dive, team 1 goes on a search for plane debris outside the working zone but towards the deep waters and the original crash site. At the same time team 2 proceeds with another round of search along the coast but using underwater metal detectors this time. In the meantime a new investigation tool is deployed by the surface team, a little autonomous yellow submarine named “Neptune”. Conclusive navigation tests are successfully conducted up to 12 m deep.


Mission Day 5 – Dive 4
Last night’s debriefing has exposed a need for additional photogrammetry calibration. Team 1 undertakes the required underwater adjustments then proceeds with the testing of the scooter getting used to operate it with respect with the compulsory depth + azimuth coordinates. Team 2 spends the dive searching for new plane debris potentially scattered outside the working zone (shallow waters along the coast). In the meantime the surface team is training and practicing on OpenROV navigation.


Mission Day 4 – Dive 3
Back on the Beaufighter site the underwater team finalizes marking of the working zone 2 (the deepest one) then undertakes marking of the collateral working zone 1 (upper zone towards the coast). The virtual grid is set on the two zones to allow suitable photogrammetry survey by manned underwater camera then with the help of the underwater scooter. The global working zone is now ready for full precise scanning and systematic mapping.


Mission Day 3
OpenRov 2.7 testing. Upgraded system is digitally finalized before getting used to the settings and cruise controls. Electronics, power and motor are checked. Balance and buoyancy controls are also tested making sure all systems are clear and watertight. Remote control testing finally helps the crew getting used to the handling of the OpenROV underwater.


What a great shot of the ROV!

Such a great shot!!

Mission Day 2 – Dive 2
Clearing sky and downing winds open a window in the afternoon allowing the team to be back in action on the diving spot. A solid briefing allows perfect timing and impeccable underwater organization to refine sizing of the working zone’s quadra and marking its surface boundaries with yellow floats. A new set of measurements is completed while the surface team works on testing the OpenROV 2.7. The sun eventually comes from behind the clouds to crown the fruitful afternoon.


Mission Day 2
Action is down for the morning because of blowing wind and chopped seas: time for an OpenROV workshop. Gathered around our Drone & ROV master Fabien, the team appreciates the wonders and refinements of putting together the various parts of the OpenROV 2.7. Again, it’s all about electronics and O-rings. Once the ROV is fully set the computer links and video feed are tested. All systems clear. Ready to go diving for balance and thrusting tests.


Mission Day 1 - Dive 1
The dive team is on the spot. Seabed and surface marking of the working zone has been initiated along with initial rough measurements of the designated quadra. Fist video survey tests have also been realized to allow testing of the digital mapping program. Good diving conditions with flat sea and excellent visibility on spot. Team working needs some fine tuning but globally operates well. More on this later.


Amazing visibility! How are the seas and the weather conditions? Is the fairly calm this time of year? As someone who has never been to greece, i'm curious about the aspects of expedition planning relating to weather, distance from shore to targets, permitting. It sounds like an incredible expedition! Continued good luck!

Hi Erika, thks a lot for your comment. Yes, as you can see on the pictures, the visibility is incredible around the island of Kefalonia. Especially at this time of the year, because the water is still fairly cold (around 18-20°C). For the weather, the ionian islands in Greece are perfect for exploration because the mornings are usually calm; in the afternoon, a North-Western breeze kicks in and dies still usually in the evening. That's pretty much what is happening every day of the summer. In May, it is not as regular. You might have, like we had two days ago a strong southerly wind with clouds and rain. But, starting in April, it is totally managable. The only problem for us, with our sailing boat are the Greek harbours. Most of them are free. You have the quay and nothing else. So, every one is anchoring and putting lines on the quay. You can imagine that every morning crisscrossing anchorages are a real nightmare. But with patience and calm, you can go through.

Mission Day 1
The Ocean71 team has regrouped in Fiskardo and has established its HQ at the Fiskardo-Divers Eco Dive Resort. Task one: opening travel cases, making sure all the equipment hasn’t suffered too much from air or sea transportation then putting together all the forth required equipment which basically consist in battling with electronics and O-rings… (not mentioning hooking on the good Wi-Fi to allow connection with the world and our potential followers!). In the meantime the dive team is getting organized for the first dive of the day that will be mostly dedicated to being familiarized with the working zone and having it demarcated. More on this later.


The first half (Julien, Philippe and Antoine) of the team is boarding in Paris. We should join our sailing boat and our skipper (Sébastien) tonight, in Levkas marina. 5 luggage, no overweight. Everything is under control.

Sounds like good planning thus far!

Expedition Background

After many missions along the coast of the north-western Mediterranean sea in the past two years, OCEAN71 expeditions return to Fiskardo, in the Ionian Islands, Greece, where the team has initiated ground contacts and preliminary investigations on the remains of an English Beaufighter bomber plane that was shot down during WWII and that sank after an emergency landing on water. The purpose of this 2015 expedition is to push further the underwater investigations of the wreck and complete a comprehensive survey of the whole event. In parallel the OCEAN71 team will set up an ethological survey of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal using various techniques to document its behavior and notably its traveling habits in and out the various caves where it has been spoted by local divers and volunteers from Fiskardo Divers Eco Dive Resort.


Very excited to follow along!

I've just heard that you have multiple versions of the OpenROVs over the past year! It's always fun to meet kindred explorer spirits! What have you seen so far?

2.5 and 2.7 are on their way to Greece. We let you know how they live their lives in the Med.

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