Getting Underway!


Kelley Elliott
Expedition Coordinator
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer departed Rodman, Panama on August 2nd, beginning her transit to the Mid-Cayman Rise, where a team of scientists will use advanced technologies to explore the region from August 5 - 15th. Like this cruise, the first few days of most at-sea expeditions are spent getting new personnel familiar with onboard protocols and procedures, and preparing systems for operation. After the first few days of transit and preparations, including preparing shore-side personnel on remote participation, the ship arrived at the Mid-Cayman Rise operating are this morning and commenced mission operations with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dive at the Von Damm hydrothermal vent site, that is 2,300 meters deep. A systematic video survey was conducted to explore the extent of the site and search for "hotspots" of activity. View some images from our first few days at sea, and the start of operations at the Mid-Cayman Rise.

Science Team Lead, Chris German, provides an overview of the expedition and science objectives to the ship’s crew at the start of the expedition.

Science Team Lead, Chris German, provides an overview of the expedition and science objectives to the ship’s crew at the start of the expedition. Click image for larger view and image credit.


At least two species of shrimp are found at the Von Damm hydrothermal vent site. One relies on chemosynthesis for food, and the other may be a predator.

At least two species of shrimp are found at the Von Damm hydrothermal vent site. One relies on chemosynthesis for food, and the other may be a predator. Click image for larger view and image credit.


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