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2008 Papahanaumokuakea Maritime Heritage Expedition
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Mission info 2007 Nancy Foster Cruise
 

Mission Blog: August 1, 2008
The Journey Begins

By Cathy Green, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Welcome to the 2008 Maritime Heritage Expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (the Monument).  We are part of a multi-disciplinary expedition involving various scientific and cultural teams studying this unique, remote, and very special area.  Over the next month, we will introduce you to shark researchers, biologist studying coral reefs, native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, the ship’s crew, and of course fill you in on what our maritime heritage team is discovering. This daily blog will give you the highlights of our daily operations.  You can check out more about the history of the shipwreck sites we will be visiting on their specific pages on the expedition site.

The NOAA ship Hi'ialakai

The NOAA ship Hi’ialakai is our research vessel.  She carries 4 smaller boats on her decks that will take the research teams to their sites.

Today, we are still transiting to our first stop and French Frigate Shoals.  We left the dock at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii at 1000 on Thursday morning.  The team had spent the last few days with pre-cruise preparation and loading the ship.  It was great to finally throw off the dock lines and get underway.  The ship we are living and working on for the next month is the NOAA ship Hi’ialakai. Hotlink to: http://www.moc.noaa.gov/ha/  She is a large research vessel at 224 feet long. We need all that space since there are 42 people onboard. 

Team members Kelly Gleason and Stephani Gordon review dive procedures

Team members Kelly Gleason and Stephani Gordon review dive procedures while Dive Master Hans Van Tilburg and the ship’s executive officer LT Keith Golden look on.

Safety drills, getting to know the ships procedures and crew, not to mention gear preparation have taken up a good part of the last day and a half.  From what we have seen so far, we are in very good hands and will be getting a lot of work done (and eating very well).  Tomorrow we plan to arrive at French Frigate Shoals around midday and will get half day of diving in on our first site…so stay tuned.

To ask us questions, you can email the team at: sanctuaries@noaa.gov and we will answer your questions within the blog, or in a live internet broadcast later in the cruise. Again, stay tuned for details.

 

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