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Starless in Seattle

August 27 2014
In collaboration with the leader of The Sea Star Wasting Syndrome-expedition (, Laura James, we're going on an expedition to Alki Beach, Cove 1, to see if we can find some sea stars. Also, we wish to figure out why Erika's ROV seems to not drive straight - even though after meetings with silk sharks and ice bergs, who can really blame it?

August 27 2014


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Preparation Stage

A video from our day! Video and editing by Laura James

Phantom has a few new hiccups. I think the sharks took a few too many swings at her in the Caribbean.

It seems the camera servo is now pretty broken, and one of the motors doesn't operate at full capacity, so with forward signal, Phantom turns in circles to the left.

The little white end cap plugs are stuck, my favorite pair of pliers is busted. Haha, all good signs of use.

I also fought with powering up yesterday. I tried many combinations of batteries until I found a set that actually worked, though not well enough to go on a serious dive.

So after two weeks of dives in Lake Crescent, three weeks in the Arctic and two more weeks in the Caribbean, Phantom needs a serious tune up.

All of this being said, WE HAD A BLAST. The giggles of DiverLaura rang out over the water every time an ROV came up and tickled her.

We tried out Screencastify for Chrome, which is a great! Though I accidentally recorded the setup but not the dive. It was sort of a chaotic morning :)

Phantom was in the water with sharks last week, she needed camo....


How cool is that shark fin - a nice add-on maybe for the webshop as a gadget :D

Happy trippers:)


Did you guys really put a fake shark fin on the ROV???


Couple of nerds, On our way to Seattle!


It's a nice day for a drive! It's a bit of a trek, but meeting up with Laura James and taking phantom out to stretch her motors will be a nice way to spend a morning.

Micro expedition!


Waiting for the ferry at South Warth after a short road trip.
Adventure music, coffee and some cookies - ready for adventures!


We left the farm early this morning with a car full of robots.

Expedition Background

After my sea star-expedition in Santa Cruz earlier this summer, I got really interested to find out more about the wasting sea star syndrome.

Visiting Erika Bergman on her farm in Port Angeles seemed like a great excuse to bring my ROV on new adventures!

It turns out Laura James, the scuba diver who runs this awesome expedition:, is in Seattle and wants to join us.

That means; two OpenROV's and one scuba diver are getting into the water tomorrow!


Did you post your results from your prior SSWS survey? Was this an intertidal or done with ROV?

Also do you plan on using the MARINe network or Cornell Citizen Science protocol?