A dolphin rides the bow as the ship leaves port. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Gulf of Mexico 2017. Download larger version (jpg, 11.1 MB).
On a beautiful Key West morning, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer got underway and commenced mapping towards our first dive site. During our departure, we had the good luck to have a couple of dolphins escort us out of the harbor, which is traditionally a good luck sign to mariners. Throughout the day, the science team spent the day familiarizing themselves with the ship and the remotely operated vehicle team made their final preparations for the expedition. We are all very much looking forward to our first dive tomorrow.