Finally, launch day began with the Peruvian workers conducting an ancient Incan ceremony to Pachamama (mother earth). Coca leaves, tobacco and spirits were buried in a hole as offerings to ensure a safe and productive project. Rodbell and Weidhaas participated.
After a four-hour stop-and-go tow through a narrow and shallow channel, some of which had been hand-dug by Peruvian workers, the barge passed to the open water of Lake Junín, where it was anchored for the night about a mile from shore. Early Thursday, the barge would be towed several more miles to the drill site.