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For mission logs
from the Cordell
Bank National
Marine Sanctuary
Sustainable Seas Expeditions,
click here.



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Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
SSE Accomplishments Report

Braving sharky waters, Matt Hovelman makes the plunge to free the DeepWorker from the A-frame. (Photo credit: Jamie Hall)

The second leg of Sustainable Seas Expeditions was set to investigate Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. High northwest winds and eight to ten foot swell prohibited dive operations at the Bank. Fourteen dives were completed at the contingency site in Drakes Bay with operations designed to increase pilot proficiency. Navigation exercises and dives using the tracking system, submersible sonar, cameras, and other auxiliary equipment helped DeepWorker pilots increase operational proficiency. Additionally, the operations in Drake's Bay provided an opprotunity for planning a complex operation using two submersibles, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and two scuba divers, with a complex series of tasks. Such multi-vehicle operations will prove useful in the future for assessing any influences of DeepWorker, scuba divers, and the ROV on fish and invertebrates.

Night-time operations included plankton tows. Plankton nets were deployed at night whenever possible to make use of every precious moment of ship time. Data gathered from these nets will contribute to a long-term ecosystem dynamics study being conducted by the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries.

The Cordell Bank Expeditions wrapped up with a Sanctuaries Fair and Open House on the NOAA vessel McArthur. Dan Howard, the mission coordinator participated in the second NASA sponsored Web chat focusing on sanctuaries and Cordell Bank.

Technicians deploy plankton nets at night to gather data for a long-term ecosystem dynamics study. (Photo credit: Jan Roletto)

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