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: http://www.nautiluslive.org/