Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mdina, Round 1

Our site for Wednesday was within the walled city of Mdina ( The first cistern was located in a restaurant called Bacchus, which was not open for the day yet.
This caused our time for exploration to be slightly shortened, as we had to be out before they opened. After arriving, during setup and some of the time spent in the cistern, about half of the team was able to wander around the restaurant with the owner getting a bit of a history lesson. There was much history to discuss since the room was built between 1657 and 1660! Since it was before business hours, many people transporting supplies for Bacchus were filtering in and out of the front entrance where we were located. Many stopped momentarily to see what we were doing, and were very interested in our sonar maps of the underside of the restaurant as well as the images we were receiving from the VideoRay.

In an effort to rotate drivers during different sites, Christina watched closely as I drove the VideoRay through this site so she could become familiar with the logging process and hopefully gather useful data. After gathering data for awhile, the ToughBook lost communication with the control box. After a quick bit of unsuccessful troubleshooting, it was about time to leave, so we headed to the next location.

The next spot was The Mdina Experience, right down the street. There was very limited space here, and it was during normal business hours.

There was actually a tour group passing right through our site when we arrived. They watched as we brought in and setup all of our equipment, but weren't interested enough to ask any questions. We switched to the Samsung backup since we thought the problem was with the ToughBook and did not have time to continue troubleshooting it on-site. Slightly different connections had to be made when using the Samsung, since it lacked a serial port, but everything worked out and we got the VideoRay through the small entrance and into the water.

Space was limited, so team members not directly involved couldn't really be present, so exploration presented itself again!

Another restaurant was our final location of the day. The cistern here was located in the basement. We had to walk through the restaurant which caused for some further stares of the other patrons. There was an extremely narrow passageway leading down to the site, and our equipment had to make it carefully down the long staircase. To add a bit to difficulty, the passageway was lined with wine bottles so there was little room for error. Luckily, Tyler and I made it all the way down successfully.

After making it downstairs and setting up, the data collection process began. Christina drove for for the first time on this site, and did an awesome job grabbing sonar scans and video for the cistern we were on top of. This cistern was composed of a large circular room and a narrow hallway that didn't lead to anything. We ended our day here, and loved the view off the balcony behind the restaurant!


  1. Amazing to follow all of it! The sites are so awesome, how wonderful and challenging a journey!!! Keep it coming :)
    Alice (White) and Sonny too!!!

  2. Love seeing the sights of your sites, what an amazing adventure


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