I was so excited when I heard that we were going to watch for marine animals. The Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) tool uses an air gun to send sound waves through the water and the rock. Inside the borehole there is another tool called the VSI that receives the sound waves. The time it takes for the sound to get to the tool can tell the scientists what type of rock is near the hole. We have to watch for whales, dolphins and protected species to make sure that they do not get hurt. When we are using the VSP we don’t want any animals to come near.
Watch begins at sunrise. The area needs to be clear of animals for one hour before the testing can begin. If an animal comes within range, all testing must stop until 30 minutes after the animal has left the area. We had two clear pleasant days to watch. Luckily the whales and dolphins stayed away while we tested.
The day after the VSP testing had finished everyone on the ship gathered for a barbeque. A curious Minke whale swam by to see what was happening. It is a good thing he came on the right day.