ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) visited three historic shipwrecks during the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Expedition. Here, D2 investigates Monterrey Shipwreck C’s anchor and the associated fauna and artifacts in the area.

ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) visited three historic shipwrecks during the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Expedition. Here, D2 investigates Monterrey Shipwreck C’s anchor and the associated fauna and artifacts in the area. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition. Download image (jpg, 31 KB).

Dive 05: Monterrey Shipwrecks A and C
April 17, 2014
1,300 meters
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Okeanos Explorer EX1402L3

Dive 05: Monterrey Shipwrecks A and C. Video courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Download (mp4, 50.0 MB)

The main objective of Dive 05 was to investigate two shipwrecks located several miles apart in roughly 1,300 meters of water. The dive began on Monterrey C where remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) spent the majority of time making biological observations, documenting artifacts, and gathering information that will help marine biologists and archaeologists understand the natural processes shipwrecks undergo in the deep ocean. Monterrey C is the remains of a copper sheathed, wooden hull/copper fastened sailing vessel, approximately 100 feet long. Damage at the stern along with the concentration of artifacts and ballast in this area suggests the vessel struck the bottom hard by the stern and rolled to the port side. Artifacts located in the stern include octants, a compass, a possible chronometer, sounding leads, glass liquor bottles, ceramic bottles, jugs, and plates. Inside the hull amidship is a very large anchor and next to it is the remains of a capstan. The bow contains two largely buried anchors and two lead hawse pipes. Biological observations on Monterrey C included coral, anemones, crustaceans (including squat lobsters and an Agassiz King Crab), tubeworms, isopods, and sponges.

Following completion of work on Monterrey C, Okeanos Explorer towed D2 underwater to Monterrey A. The objective of this visit was to observe the wood experiments deployed by Exploration Vessel Nautilus in 2013 and make further observations on biology and artifacts. The wood experiments represent the types of wood used in 19th century ship construction which our science team will use to learn about the degradation of shipwrecks in the deep ocean. The organisms observed on or near the experiments included fish, squat lobsters, isopods, limpets, tubeworms, and gastropods.  D2’s transit around the perimeter of the site provided detailed observations of the pivot gun, gun carriage, and other artifacts. Other biological observations on Monterrey A included polychaetes, ship worms, coral, anemones, crabs, tubeworms, squat lobsters, and hydroids.