Piccard versus the sea monster: if you’ve been reading along with this blog you’ll remember that a while ago we lost control of the waveglider named Piccard.  Telemetry and almost all systems were just fine.  We had lost control of the rudder, so Piccard was drifting.  We had all kinds of theories about what had happened.  Fortunately, this happened reasonably close to Hawaii, so we were able to go out and pick it up.  But once we did, the cause was amazing:  it had been seriously savaged by a major shark.  The body of the glider sustained no real damage.  Some wicked-looking scratches, but that’s all they were.  We found a fragment of a tooth lodged in a seam, still no real damage.  It took an impressive beating and nothing mechanical broke.  Even the rudder module was in fine shape and totally usable.  But the one exposed cable got a mighty chomp, and that’s all it took.  It’s the only real shark damage we’ve ever had, despite many years in Hawaiian waters.