Spent the day working on the blimp. Oddly, the blimp didn't have much lift today. I suspect this is because of the heat of the sun warming the air so that it is less dense and thus lowering the helium effect. But it seems about as hot as it was in Guatemala, so I am not sure. The weight of the rig is the same as it has been, so its not a problem with the payload. Tomorrow, we will start flying the blimp @ 6:00 so we can get cooler air. Perhaps that will help. We really need to get this much higher. I also will use the .5x wide angle lens. That should help significantly but not add any weight.
Another issue is the picavet system -- when the blimp is floating in no wind and the camera hangs straight up and down, the rig tends to be tilted. I am not sure how to fix that yet - it causes spin as well. You can see a bit of the tilt here in the photo above.
Above: Will Gilstrap (CSULB grad student), Christofillis Maggidis (Director, Dickenson College) and Paul Scotton (Director of Hellenistic excavations, CSULB). For the record, Paul is wearing a Huntington Beach Hawaiian shirt. Will is wearing a hat he found in the trash.
The day ended on a bit of a bummer note when an unnamed (yet pictured above on the left) person opened a freezer (yes, there is a freezer at the excavation site!) and ripped a large gash in the blimp. We repaired it in the afternoon using gorilla tape from a remarkably prepared graduate student named Joe. Hopefully, that will enable us to fly this morning (its 12:30 AM right now).