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Mission Log March 2, 2007:
NR-1 and Carolyn Chouest Leave Galveston Docks

by Kelly Drinnen
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Stellwagen Bank Map
Looking down on the NR-1 from the SSV Carolyn Chouest as the sub gets ready to leave (Photo: G.P. Schmahl, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary superintendent)
Before launching the Secrets of the Gulf expedition, the team gave a few tours of the Navy's nuclear research submarine, the NR-1 and the submarine support vessel, SSV Carolyn Chouest.  News reporters and students got a good feel for how snug the submarine is for a crew of 13!  They also toured the control station van and learned about the technology required to transmit real time video to all of the remote science consoles and viewing sites. 

At noon today, the NR-1 pulled out into the Galveston ship channel in preparation for its hook-up with the SSV Carolyn Chouest.  On board was Sanctuary Superintendent G.P. Schmahl who will spend at least the next two days exploring the depths of the Gulf of Mexico from underwater viewing portholes and live video feeds inside the sub. G.P. is a biologist with a special interest in sponges.

Sanctuary Research Specialist, Doug Weaver will be on board the SSV Carolyn Chouest.  He helped create many of the maps used to determine the expedition path. He is particularly interested in fish. When the submarine surfaces, G.P. will switch places with Doug. The two scientists will each apply their particular area of expertise to the task of identifying and analyzing the connections between the higher-relief banks on the expedition path.

This is just the beginning of the Secrets of the Gulf expedition to the Flower Garden Banks NMS.  You can follow along using the following websites:

FlowerGarden.noaa.gov - for basic information about the expedition and links to other sites.

www.OceansLIVE.org - for live video feeds from the expedition, including 1/2 hour broadcasts at 10, 11, 1, 2, and 3 CST daily, March 4-9

www.ImmersionPresents.org - expedition information and live video feeds, as well as an option to email questions to the ship at sea.  Questions may be addressed during the live broadcasts March 4-9.

NR-1
Connecting the tow line to the NR-1 from the Carolyn Chouest in Galveston. (Photo: G.P. Schmahl, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary superintendent)

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