A few days into the Mission Blue expedition to the Gulf of Mexico, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle sends a video invitation: “Let us take you along as we venture into the deep, and come back with reasons for hope.”
By SYLVIA EARLE
Pensacola, Florida, with the research vessel Brooks McCall. I’m Sylvia Earle, about to launch the Mission Blue expedition to the Gulf of Mexico. We have a great sendoff. We’re going to go explore and try to determine, if we can, some of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
We’ve got a little submarine, the Deepworker, that takes two of us. There’s Tom Shirley and myself going through the preparation to make a dive. We have a great team of people out here, not only to look for evidence, to try to see the impact of the oil spill, but to identify places that might serve as reasons for hope: Hope Spots.
Every day, we start with a plan. Sometimes the ocean has other plans! But on this day, we’re able to actually document going over the side with the Medusa, a remote camera. It goes down much deeper than divers can go to document the nature of whatever is attracted to the bait.
The Medusa is the brainchild of Dr. Edie Widder. Edie and I have shared many adventures. This is just the latest in a series of times we’ve explored the ocean together–sometimes in a little sub, and sometimes, like today, using a camera that is left on the bottom and comes back with news of who’s doing what in the deep sea.
This Gulf expedition is a great adventure, one that it’s great to be able to share in a film. Let us take you along as we venture into the deep, and come back with reasons for hope.
Support for the Mission Blue Gulf of Mexico expedition is provided by the National Geographic Society, Google Inc., the Waitt Institute, and Hope Spots LLC. Follow along in context by clicking on the ship icon near Pensacola, Florida using Google Earth.