Today was a productive day! The last members of the crew arrived around noon, completing the current team. There are a few new faces among those from last year's Battle of the Atlantic Expedition, and it has been great to see old friends and meet new ones. Everyone has enjoyed catching up at Beaufort's amazing seafood restaurants!
Team logistics meeting at NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in Beaufort, NC (Photo: NOAA, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.)
As the first day of the expedition, the goal was to get prepared to head out to sea and dive the HMT Bedfordshire and the Caribsea. Scuba tanks, BCs, dive gear, and other materials were unloaded from cars and trailers and brought out to R/V Joe Ferguson, Gray's Reef vessel that will be used for the expedition. We also met with Patricia Hay and Roger Mays from NOAA's National Center for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to go over some guidelines and procedures; and our captains, Chad Meckley and Todd Recicar, gave us a boat orientation and safety briefing.
We also had some disappointing news; the boat has an oil leak. Our first day of diving was supposed to be Wednesday, but has been pushed back a day for repairs. This event just illustrates how vulnerable the expedition is to outside forces. We have prepared as much as possible and everyone has arrived safely, but in order for things to go as planned, we need the boat and Mother Nature to cooperate!