Thursday, March 3, 2011

Every story has a beginning II

Dear followers of Hyperborea Exists, it’s been over a month since I last wrote. It seems that the gods are determined to prevent me updating the blog more regularly but fear not, sooner or later I’ll always be back in touch. The truth must be discovered.  In my last post I started to tell the story of how I really became involved in the Hyperborea myth. Here is the second part.

As I explained, on 7 June 2000 I set forth from Bodø in northern Norway aboard the Blue Sea with Geir Grønvoll and Olve Raaen, my colleagues from the NTNU. Geir is a renowned expert in submarine ecosystems and Olve specialises in applied robotics. Olve was in charge of Barracuda 1 and 2, the submarine robots that would reveal first-hand what lay in the murky depths. I was involved in the expedition as an expert in submarine archaeology, just in case we discovered any remains along the proposed route. It was rather like building a motorway. Before you can begin, first you have to study the environmental impact and check whether or not the work will affect any archaeological remains.
Descriptive diagram of the elements that configure a submarine cable system. 
On this project we didn’t expect to find anything significant because the route was a long way away from all standard maritime routes and there were no records of any shipwrecks in the area. However, international regulations meant that these checks were compulsory. As you can imagine, my expectations were low. In fact, of the three of us, I was the only one who didn’t expect to find much. Greir was the most enthusiastic because the expedition served as the perfect excuse for him to closely observe marine environments that he would never have been able to study otherwise. The cost would have been prohibitive, after all, we’re talking about depths that range between ten and thirteen thousand feet.

The first week was fairly routine. Our route was north-northeast for six hundred nautical miles, at which point we would turn east-southeast until we reached Iceland. A direct route east had been ruled out because Nordic Communications hoped that this cable would be the first of two. The second cable would connect to Greenland. The point where we changed direction would be the location for an interconnector that would one day function as a bridge between Iceland, Greenland and the continent.

Submarine cable. During our surveys we deployed hundreds of kilometers of Steel guide cable. This photo was taken by Barracuda 1, one of the two underwater robots that we used during this Project.

We woke up between 5 and 6 am each morning to start work just as the first rays of sunlight appeared over the horizon. Our routine was to move from waypoint to waypoint releasing the Barracuda robots at each location and observing the ocean floor and environment to assess the viability of the ‘path’. If a waypoint proved to be viable, the next waypoint was assigned and the Nordic Comms team released the steel guide cable. This guide cable would be used to lay the real cable once we had finished our job.

Among our observations, we focused on the following aspects: local fauna and flora, rock and coral formations and, for my part, any traces of archaeological remains. The Barracuda robots made our work far easier. Before they were invented, we would have had to carry out highly dangerous dives in pressurized suits. Or simply omit on-site checks, so that the workers who laid the cable would be unaware of any damage that they could cause. That first week was fairly calm and without incident. Things started to get interesting in the second week. 

But I’ll save that for the next update. That’s all for today, I’m afraid, duty calls. We’re making good progress and are closer and closer to revealing the truth behind the Hyperborea myth.

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