Mission Logs

Expedition Coverage Begins July 23rd

From July 23 through August 1, 2005, the Immersion Presents team will post updates live from the R/V Ron Brown. Bookmark this website, and remember to join us for our next adventure.

We're underway

The NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown left Woods Hole, Massachusetts in the evening on July 17. We're on our way to the Lost City hydrothermal field. We'll be posting detailed updates starting on July 23rd. In the meantime, check out the latest photos.

Almost there

We've been at sea for over five days, but somehow it doesn't seem that long. Everyone aboard has been incredibly busy getting ready for tomorrow, our first day on site. The scientists have assembled their instruments and sampling gear. The ROV team has been preparing the vehicles. All of the equipment in the control van has been set up and tested. Meanwhile, the production team has been setting up and practicing for the live broadcasts.

We have arrived!

When we woke up this morning, it was clear that something had changed. The ship was no longer moving! After nearly six days at sea, we had arrived at our first exploration site. We'll be sending updates later in the day. In the meantime, as we make final preparations for our first dive, you can tune in live.

First dive

The team was able to launch the ROVs around midnight last night. This morning they are exploring the first dive site and collecting rock samples. Look for some incredible underwater pictures today.

First dive complete; On to Lost City

This evening, we finished the first dive with the ROVs. The vehicles were brought back to the surface and lifted back up on deck.

Between dives

The ROVs came back to the surface this morning after their first dive at Lost City. The science team was very excited to retrieve the samples that Hercules had collected. Today the team is busy getting ready for the next dive. Meanwhile we are continuing our broadcasts back to Immersion Presents sites across the U.S.

Another day, another dive

Hercules and Argus were deployed yesterday evening for another dive at Lost City. During the night, the teams on the ship and at the University of Washington could be heard talking on their intercom while amazing images glowed on the monitors. This morning, the ROVs returned to the surface so that the scientists could gather their samples. We're hoping to get the vehicles back in the water within a few hours today.

Working together

This is the first time that the chief scientist of an oceanographic expedition is leading the mission from shore, using technology to see what the team on the ship is seeing. Dr. Deborah Kelley is at the Science Control Center at the University of Washington (UW). From there, she and her team can see all of the video coming from the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cameras. They can tell the team on the ship where to drive the ROVs and which rock samples to collect. The two teams are constantly communicating using our satellite and Internet 2 link.

Amazing underwater views

The ROVs are back in the water this afternoon after a quick recovery to retrieve samples this morning. As we get ready for the next broadcast, we are seeing amazing live video of the underwater structures at Lost City. Some photos from earlier dives are now available online. We'll share more underwater images in the next few days.

Has anyone seen the elevator?

The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules can carry boxes to hold the samples it collects. But sometimes it's not convenient to bring a sample up with the ROV. That's where the elevators come in. An elevator is a special platform designed to carry samples up from the seafloor so they can be retrieved by the team on the ship. The elevators can be used to bring up samples while the ROVs keep working underwater.

Last dive completed

At about nine o'clock (ship's time), the ROVs finished the last dive of this mission to Lost City. Now we are on our way to port in the Azores, a group of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Immersion Presents team, and most of the scientists will be getting off there, and heading for home. Most of the ROV group will be staying on for another cruise where they will help a new group of scientists study deep sea corals on seamounts.

Expedition 2003 Has Come to an End

We pulled into Malta Monday at 8 Am. The scientists have disembarked and are heading home after an exciting expedition. The Hercules ROV performed very well.

We hope everyone out there has enjoyed following the project. Everyone on the expedition team is looking forward to a little R&R!!

Cathy Offinger, Director of Operations

August 18, 2003

We have re-configured Little HERCULES to take some final shots at Wreck D and to bring back the 2 prepositioned elevators which had been set in place Friday morning. Those operations were carried out successfully - now all our gear is back on deck and we are transitting to a point off the south coast of Sicily, en route to Malta. The plan is to survey the area with ARGUS and see what we can find along what may have been a trade route between Sicily and Malta.

Cathy Offinger, Director of Operations

August 15, 2003

We had a successful dive Friday morning - collected several items , including what we thought were possible glass ingots. We recovered HERCULES to modify the lifting tools. The one we used in the morning was not robust enough to lift the heavy amphoras - and in fact was bent during our attempt to lift.

August 13, 2003

We are in the Eastern Mediterannean and conducted a SeaBeam survey of the area on Tuesday when first arrived on site. We deployed ARGUS / HERCULES mid-afernoon and came right down on SKERKI Wreck F. Unfortunately, a hydraulic leak developed and the vehicles were brought back to the surface. Efforts are underway to replace the hydraulic pump and resume our work with HERCULES.

August 11, 2003

We are transitting to Skerki Bank in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Our transit through the Dardenelles was beautiful - we now are in the open Ionian Sea. We are due on site at 6 PM Tuesday night - noon on Tuesday for you.

Cathy Offinger, Director of Operations

August 6,2003

It is now 1100 local on August 6th. The 5th was a very busy 24-hours. After excavating the port side of the Wreck D, exposing several buried amphora, we used HERCULES to recover four of them which were placed in one of two elevators were had dropped to the bottom.

August 5, 2003

We are finishing up our work on Wreck D. Hercules has been working on excavating a portion of the cargo area and tonight we loaded four amphorae into our elevators. We are using a high-precision acoustic navigation system to map the wreck site using multibeam sonar, subbottom profiling, and electronic photography.

August 3, 2003

I am writing at 1am KNORR time early AM on Aug. 3. We have spent most of the day on Shipwrecks B and C, collecting survey data including electronic still images and subbottom profiles. We used Hercules to uncover several beams outside the amphora cargo area that are part of the ships hull.

August 1, 2003

We are transiting to a do a dive on an ancient shipwreck, called Wreck B, which sank in 100 meters water depth probably during the Byzantine Period about 4-6th century AD. We will be diving on that site around 9am your time (4pm our time).

July 31, 2003

R/V Knorr arrived on target from Sinop and carried out its first open ocean test dive with its new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) HERCULES. After this test dive, HERCULES was brought back to the surface and a series of adjustments were made to the ROV.

Sailing for the Sea of Crete

The R/V Endeavor has left port in southern France, and is headed for the Sea of Crete to begin the first leg of the expedition. URI Engineer and ROV Pilot Todd Gregory writes, We started work the minute we stepped on the ship this past Saturday and worked steadily until we shoved off yesterday afternoon.

We're off and running!

After a quick port stop, the R/V Endeavor is on its way to begin a side scan sonar mission in the Sea of Crete. Dwight Coleman writes, We left Iraklion at 2:00 pm today after a slight delay to get one of the ship's radars repaired. The weather is decent -- wind is 10 knots, and the sea is a little rolly. Not too bad.


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