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Mission Logs

Casserley crunching dataApril 30, 2006
Crunching data, wrapping up and heading home.

the ship dockedApril 29, 2006
Rough seas and small craft advisories make the going tough.

divers look at ship timbersApril 28, 2006
The team explores the North America, a 19th century masted vessel.

Russ Green and Brenda Altmeier assemble the diver propulsion vehicleApril 27, 2006
Today kicked off media day as the team provides an educational tour under water.

Photo-mosaic sled in actionApril 26, 2006
Archaeologists kick off the photo-mosaic mission. Take a look at the newly developed sled technology in action!

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Mission Log: April 30, 2006

Russ Green, Archaeologist
NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program

Today came early for the crew on the RV Odyssey and just about everyone else tied up along this stretch of the Key Largo canal. As the neighboring dive charter boats fired up their diesel engines and headed out with throngs of eager divers, our team dived into breaking down gear, cleaning up the research vessel and crunching data obtained over the last week.

Casserley downloads video frame grabs to create a photo-mosaic. Photo by Russ Green.
Casserley downloads video frame grabs to create a photo-mosaic. (Photo: Russ Green)
Although the photo-mosaics will be finished over the coming weeks, today we'll get a jump on digitizing video, organizing digital still images and making sure the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary team is left with copies of everything generated during the project. Tane Casserley and I will also pack up the big black Chevy Suburban and get ready to head tomorrow to Norfolk, Virginia.

Russ takes a rest after loading the gear into the black Chevy Suburban.
Russ takes a rest after loading the gear into the black Chevy Suburban. (Photo: Tane Casserley)
As the team reflects on the project's success one overriding sentiment rings loudest: We need to keep the momentum and return next year to the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail. Not only are there more sites to document, but there is much more public outreach to be done. Every one of the dozens of folks we ran into over the last week were curious about what we were up to. Both the Miami Herald and the Key West Citizen today ran stories about the project. Passers-by at the Key Largo and Marathon docks and the reporters who visited us on-site were clearly fascinated with the technology being used. More importantly, they were fascinated by the shipwrecks themselves and the potential photo-mosaics hold for allowing non-divers to visit these one-of-a-kind historic sites.

Shipwrecks never fail to spark the public's curiosity. They are windows into our collective past-the only real-time machines we possess. Our team is fortunate to have had the chance to document a small fraction of the shipwrecks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Although Commander Beckwith will move on to another NOAA Corps billet next week, we hope to lure him back to the Keys in 2007. There is much more work to be done along the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail and he will surely see that we stay on schedule.

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