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National Geographic and Oceana scientists, in collaboration with the Chilean Navy, are traveling to their next expedition location–the remote Salas y G√≥mez Island, some 200 miles (about 323 km) east of Easter Island, Chile, where they will discover what lies beneath these largely unexplored waters. Their backs to the sea, enormous figures called moai carved...

Though foiled by weather mere seconds before a planned sub launch on their morning attempt to dive together, executive director of the Harte Research Institute Larry McKinney and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle persevere, and the effort pays off: They complete a successful shallow-water dive off the Florida coast in the dual Deepworker sub–the second...

After two journeys to the bottom of the sea and back, a grim marine weather forecast–60-knot winds and 12- to 16-foot seas–for target deepwater drop sites forces the Medusa back to shore. The Medusa, back on deck after its second and final descent of the expedition. By EDIE WIDDER We’ve been WOW: Waiting On Weather....

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and Harte Research Institute Executive Director Larry McKinney prepare for Mission Blue’s second Gulf dive in the Deepworker submarine, but rising winds and seas put the mission on hold mere moments from deployment. The duo shares their frustration with the uncooperative weather, and their determination to try again. Larry McKinney...

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...

On the Survivors of the Spill expedition’s second attempt, we successfully deploy the Waitt Institute’s dual Deepworker sub in relatively shallow waters near the Florida coast. Moments after their safe return to the research vessel Brooks McCall, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and ecologist Thomas Shirley describe the green “blizzard of life” that...

On our second full day at sea, the Mission Blue: Survivors of the Spill team departs Roughtongue Reef for quieter waters near the head of the submerged Desoto Canyon. We drop the marine observatory Medusa to the bottom for the second time. Edie Widder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association discusses what Medusa sees...

On the Survivors of the Spill expedition’s first full day at sea, wind and waves conspired to keep the Deepworker sub out of the ocean–but the Medusa marine lander made a successful first drop onto Roughtongue Reef. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and Harte Research Institute ecologist Thomas Shirley recount the day. After long minutes...

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and Harte Research Institute ecologist Thomas Shirley describe plans for their first dive of the expedition in the Waitt Institute’s two-person Deepworker sub at Roughtongue Reef, part of the “string of pearls in the top of the northern Gulf.” The two-person Waitt Institute’s Deepworker sub with hatches up before departing...

At Roughtongue Reef in the Gulf of Mexico, some 80 miles east of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill site, Dr. Edie Widder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) deploys the Medusa–a sophisticated deep sea observatory that can film and test seawater conditions–for the first time in the open ocean. At dock in Pensacola,...

As the research vessel Brooks McCall prepares to embark from Pensacola’s city dock for destinations near the BP Deepwater Horizon spill site, expedition co-leaders Thomas Shirley and Sylvia Earle discuss their goals for the week ahead. Sylvia Earle with the Brooks McCall. By Thomas Shirley and Sylvia Earle Shirley: Sylvia, we’re departing on the Mission...