Ahoy! I've had a very enjoyable first three days getting used to life at sea aboard the Okeanos Explorer. I've gained a new appreciation for what it means to lead the life of a mariner and be a seafloor mapper.
The other big thing that happened on the first day was the change of command ceremony. Commander Pica, who had captained the Okeanos since its commissioning in 2008, was succeeded by Commander Kamphaus, another highly competent NOAA Corps Commander. They had a brief ceremony on the ship's bow with Guam still in the background. Then, two crewmembers ferried Pica ashore in a small boat. Typically, commands last about 2 years in the NOAA Corps.
Bon voyage! I'm off to go explore the seafloor!
Tomorrow I'll get on a plane bound for Guam where I'll rendezvous with the NOAA Okeanos Explorer and catch a ride back to Hawaii on the ship. The trans-Pacific journey will last 14 days, during which time my job will be to help map the seafloor. We will travel a 6100 km (3800 mi) great circle path from Guam to Oahu, crossing the Mariana Trench, the abyssal plain, seamounts and ridge systems. In the process, I'll experience life on the vessel firsthand and report on it here on my blog.
|Click for a wider view. You can follow the actual position of the ship in real time here or here.|
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