On the Puerto Rican Trench mission, the first test, scheduled for December 15, was scratched because of a leaky hatch. A day later, with Lahey on board to make his final check of Vescovo's piloting ability, the dive was scratched again for the same reason—after an extremely hairy launch and recovery in rough seas that caused Vescovo to lose his lunch. On the 17th, the two men managed to get the Limiting Factor to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) on the leeward side of Puerto Rico, simplifying launch and recovery, but the hatch was still leaking slightly at the surface. There were also issues with the variable ballast system, two thrusters got smashed during recovery, and worst of all, the $350,000 robot arm that Vescovo would use to collect scientific samples from the sea bottom fell off and is now a very expensive sonar blip. "I've joked that this sub cost me an arm and a leg," Vescovo said later. "Today, it literally cost me an arm."