Log Post: An Island in the Beam

“Oh, wow, Nathan are you getting this?” marine tech Jimbo Duncan called across the room to his counterpart. On the screen, the sonar system was spitting out the first ever map of a large bank probably known before now only to a few fishermen. But it was the big, dark blue spot coming up that … Continued

Log Post: The Rise of the Rubble

Yesterday I joked about a mystery at Mysterious Bank, but today we came on something of a real mystery. It happened about midway through an 8-hour ROV dive at a spot called Dream Bank. The views were a little dull at the base of the bank, but as we made our way up, the slope … Continued

Log Post: Dolphins, a Dream, and the Mysterious

“Let’s give them a little challenge,” said chief mate Niklas Pfaff. Then he gunned the engine on Falkor’s jet boat, Atreyu, and we sped away from the ship. The challenge was for a pod of a dozen or so dolphins, and they were more than able to keep up. For the next twenty minutes even … Continued

Log Post: Don’t Look Away, You Might Miss Something

I was sure we had found a shipwreck with a pile of gold coins fully visible, or at the very least a very large shark. The cheers coming from the control room were just so loud. I was sitting in the room next door and though there was an ROV monitor in front of me, … Continued

Log Post: Wee Little Bad Boys in the Deep

With no ROV dive, today was a time for filling in some gaps in the high-resolution seafloor mapping, and some sampling work launching equipment from the surface. In contrast to yesterday’s beautiful scenes at Baker Bank, one of the more interesting finds was something invisible to the naked eye and a good bit less pleasant. … Continued

Log Post: Baker Bank Beauty and a Possible Trip to Hospital

“This is beautiful.” That was one of the first things I heard coming from the science control room this morning once the Global Explorer ROV made it to the base of Baker Bank. It was the first of many like comments to come, not to mention some wows, oohs, and ahs. The scenes before us … Continued

Log Post: Ready to Dive

The plan is set. Tomorrow morning, the team from Deep Sea Systems International will launch their Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle (ROV) so we can begin exploring an area called Baker Bank. The last time anyone set eyes on this place was from a submersible about 40 years ago. The team decided to start here … Continued

Log Post: The Expedition Begins

Mapping the Depths, from Bad Mud to the Mysterious Bad Mud Bank. It sounds a bit ominous, if not especially attractive. That was our first destination for the day. Fishermen know the spot and probably named it—perhaps after pulling up an anchor coated in stinky mud. But scientists have never had the chance to see … Continued

Log Post: Cruise Summary for Deep Coral Shakedown

This was a shakedown to remember. It was the first time for many things aboard RV Falkor – the first time chased by a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, the first time diving with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the first time mapping in rough weather, and the first time imaging corals in … Continued

Log Post: Christmas trees of Atwater Valley

Today, we had our fourth and final dive at a site called AT357, which had been visited previously by some members of our research team in 2009 and 2011. “AT” stands for Atwater Valley, a sub region of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) touched down on soft sediments at 1050 … Continued