The research vessel Ka'imikai-o-Kanaloa (KOK) at the pier in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Click image for larger view.
A closeup of the three viewports on the front of the Pisces V submersible, which will be main vehicle used to explore the submarine volcanoes of the Kermadec Arc.. Click image for larger view.
We are underway!
April 3, 2005
Oregon State University
NOAA Vents Program
We left Pago Pago, American Samoa, on Sunday morning April 3 and started heading south. There is often an amazing sense of relief when a research expedition like this one starts, because it has been preceded by months of complicated logistical planning, with countless meetings, emails, and phone calls to arrange every detail. The participants have come from New Zealand and the US, and sophisticated research equipment had to be shipped half way across the world well in advance. In short, there were many opportunities for things to go wrong along the way. So it felt like a minor miracle when we all arrived in Pago Pago to find that everything was here waiting for us and was more-or-less ready to go. Another good sign is that the Pisces V submarine completed three successful dives on the previous expedition and appears to be working well. So things are looking good and we are excited to get started, but we are going to have to be a bit patient at first. This is because we have to make a 4-day transit from Pago Pago (at 14.5° latitude) to Monowai Volcano (at 25.8° latitude) where we will make our first dives - A distance of over 650 nautical miles. We plan to make our first dive there on Thursday April 7. Please stay tuned...
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