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2008 Papahanaumokuakea Maritime Heritage Expedition
Mission info 2007 Nancy Foster Cruise

Expedition Q & A

Bruce in Maryland Asks:
Is a terrestrial survey of Kure Atoll to look for a survivors' camp a potential, or something that has been considered?

Yes, while we have to be careful how we conduct a survey for possible traces of survivor camps due to wildlife considerations, we are interested in beginning that search and have some of the appropriate sensing equipment with us on this trip. We have two historic sketches which show these camps on Green Island (Ocean Island, as it used to be known!). One is a drawing of the Dunnottar Castle's castaway camp from 1886, and the other is the sketch of the USS Saginaw survivor's camp, done by the commanding officer Montgomery Sicard in 1870. However, we've never encountered any visible surface traces of artifacts associated with these events. The island has been altered, vegetation shifted, years of hosting a Coast Guard LORAN station, etc.
Cheers- Hans

Paul in Hawaii Asks:
Have been following the expedition's progress through the daily blogs. This has been a great opportunity for an amateur historian such as myself to share in the discoveries.

The Aug 11 blog states that you are going to retrieve the Parker's bell for conservation. I thought it was the Saginaw's bell that was to be salvaged? Weren't the pictures of the bell taken on the last expedition of the Saginaw's bell?

What happened on Midway, did you find evidence of the work on the reef done in 1870?

We're fortunate to get to recover both the New Bedford whaler Parker's bell AND the USS Saginaw's bell on this research cruise. Both are now securely stored for transit to a conservation lab. Further images will be pending. Yes, we have pictures of the Saginaw's bell from 2006, in situ within its cobble setting. When we get to Midway, we hope to make some reconnaissance dives in the area where the first channel cut was attempted by the Boston hard hat divers in 1870. This was a straight line over the bar on the west side of the atoll, from Sewards Roads to Welles Harbor, as indicated on the survey charts drawn by Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Sicard. Not only would we be curious to see traces of this work underwater, but the coral biologists might also like to have a look at what 138 years of coral growth can mean for a specific area so impacted at that time.
Cheers- Hans

Bryan from Michigan writes:
Thanks for writing the Papahānaumokuākea Mission blog. We look forward to more updates. Are you using any ROVs in your mission this year? If so, can you tell us about them and how they are used? If not, can you tell us why?

While we are not using an ROV for any of the maritime heritage operations on this cruise, the Hi'ialaki does have a remotely operated vehicle and we have done some test runs over the past couple of weeks.

rov movie iconClick here to view a short video from one of those tests.

The Deep Ocean Engineering DHD2+2 is equip with 4 horizontal thrusters capable of up to 4 knots, 12:1 optical zoom hi-resolution camera, 600 meters of cable, and weighs in at 220 lbs. The ROV is a Pacific regional resource used for archaeology, benthic mapping, equipment retrieval/repair, fisheries research, and other environmental research and monitoring functions.

The nature of our work on this cruise is relatively shallow, so divers are the best way to get "eyeballs on the bottom." ROVs are great options when working at depth and when you want to spend a very long time on the bottom. Thanks for the question Bryan, and thanks to Jeremy - Technical Officer here on the ship for providing the video for this answer.
Fair Winds- Cathy

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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