Scientist Keir Becker has seen it all in twenty years of stringing sensors down boreholes into the ocean floor. And it turns out the state of the art in 2011 is… the humble spliced rope. Not only can the rope be chosen to be "positively buoyant" (a big help in making it act practically weightless and able to rise to the surface when disconnected from a load) but Keir can put the splices and connectors exactly where he wants them, when he wants to. All it takes is time, patience and some skill with splicing. Like a master craftsman, Keir can often be seen at his workbench splicing rope during a long mission at sea.