Deep Sea Exploration, Dumbo Octopuses and Sperm Whales…Oh My!

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the discovery of the Titanic or have dreamed of being an ocean explorer, you’re going to be jealous!


The Ocean Explorer Trust was founded by Dr. Robert Ballard who discovered the resting place of the iconic Titanic. He’s also a well-known National Geographic explorer and along with his team, they embark on worldwide scientific and ocean explorations aboard the magnificent 192ft Nautilus.


The Nautilus chronicles their journey online and through live web-streaming. Day and night, you can log on and watch live video, hear the scientists discussing what they see, chat with the scientist and see data they collect from the ocean floor. Our family (especially hubby) has been a little obsessed with this team, the boat and all of their discoveries.


The Nautilus gained followers young and old as they captured footage from underwater ROV’s (remotely operated vehicles) and met adorable new sea creatures like the dumbo octopus that was SO cute, it’s discovery went viral this past year. If you haven’t seen one of these “Finding Nemo-like”cuties, you have to google it and check it out!! They also had an up close and personal visit with a rare sperm whale, all while collecting samples and data about the Galapagos Rift and the site of the first hydrothermal vent that was discovered in 1977. What’s not to love here? Big boats, awesome sea creatures and underwater adventures…sign us up!


Our big break came this summer as the Nautilus was docked in San Diego Bay for about three weeks. They were busy exploring cold seeps off California’s coast and a 3 year old whale carcass. During this time, we got lucky enough to see the boat and even got an invitation to board and tour this massive vessel. We got inside the bridge and pretended to be captains (for a few minutes anyway), we saw where they slept, ate, worked out (yes, there is a small gym on the boat), the lab, the live streaming room and we even shook hands with the famous robotic ROV’s Hercules and Argus. As the sun set on the picturesque San Diego Bay, the Totally Trailer gang earned our sea legs and thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Nautilus and the crew.


The crew gave us a highly informative private tour and allowed us to live out our underwater exploration dreams! After all, it’s just an over sized floating RV right?


Check out the Nautilus website for information on their expedition, videos of the best moments of 2015 and to learn more about underwater research and ocean life:

With the city of San Diego all lit up, Nautilus is all tucked in for the night
Little one and hubby listening about the ROV “Argus” while I snuck off and the boat for a sunset shot
The San Diego skyline almost looks fake in the background
The smaller ROV of the two is Argus and he is seen here enjoying the view and warm weather in S.D.
“Hercules” is the larger ROV who does all the collecting of samples (seen here with his robotic arms and little baskets for collecting and bringing samples back to the surface)
Inside the main control room where the scientist and volunteers sit day after day watching and analyzing each of the many cameras on board and in the water. As well as radar, position and weather. This was definitely the coolest spot on the boat! Hubby liked 🙂
Little one also took a seat in the control room admiring all the sea creatures swimming by underneath her
Little one learning about the joystick and how it controls the ROV’s underwater (as seen above in one of the monitors)
Hard to get hubby to leave this fascinating room…..
Proof that I was here in a family photo taken by a nice crew member! Another gorgeous day in Southern California
Pretending to be the captain of the vessel
Oh, don’t trust her driving!
The 192 foot vessel docked in San Diego
This boat has seen some action!
Both ROV’s hanging out on the back deck of the Nautilus until they are called for duty again


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