NR-1 at West Flower Garden Bank
NR-1 is submerged and exploring the ocean bottom south of West Flower Garden Bank. Up topside, the rest of the expedition team is working furiously to get all the systems on line to start the live broadcasts on Sunday. Fortunately, all systems are "GO" down here on the submarine. Unfortunately, the same thing can't be said for Argus, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that the Institute for Exploration crew up there on Carolyn will work out all the bugs.
Joining us down here on the sub for the first couple of days of the expedition, we have Mr. David Robinson, Marine Archeologist from the Public Archeology Lab/UCONN Avery Point and Mr. G. P. Schmahl, Superintendent of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Like the NR-1 crew, they are anxious to head up to the banks to view the unexplored natural wonders that surely wait up there for us.
In the area south of the marine sanctuary, the water is about 600 feet deep. For NR-1, that is no problem. We've seen lots of fish such as butterfly fish, amberjack and grouper swimming in and above the rocky ocean bottom. Of course, we've seen the ever present dolphins around our ship during the transit out. Visibility out of the viewports has been very good, with my crew being able to clearly see the bottom about 40 feet below us. In the cameras, we can see the bottom from about 60 feet.
(Later in the day): Argus is fixed! The expedition team topside was very eager to get Argus into the water.