The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: May, 2012

The Navy’s newest spy sub (and the dolphins that love it)

From Spencer “Attackerman” Ackerman, for Wired, who spent 4 days aboard a classified Navy sub:

There’s no land in sight, just blue water turned white around the sub’s wake, a tall BPS-16 military radar spinning in front of us, and a family of dolphins jumping out of the surf in front of the 377-foot boat.

Apparently it’s typical. Where subs travel in the southern Atlantic, dolphins tend to tag along, eager to say hi to their large, silent playmate. “Dolphins like to sing,” notes Petty Officer Joshua Bardelon, a 32-year old from Pascagoula, the site of the Mississippi’s destination, who supervises the boat’s sonar systems.

Those systems are part of why Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is eager to take possession of his newest Virginia-class submarine when it formally joins the fleet on June 2. As much time as it spends listening to dolphin symphonies, the Mississippi is everything from a weapon to destroy other ships to an electronic-attack system to a stealthy transport for Navy commandos.

A heartbreaking interview with Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle

I recently had the opportunity to interview Sylvia Earle for a NY Times article about home made subs.

But I am not here to talk about those subs.

I am here to talk about the things Sylvia told me that did not make it into that article. We talked about the state of support for science in the sea.

Read more»

I want a hobie cat

Nothing could be greater than to sail a little hobie cat against these strong trade winds Oahu is feeling right now. I see them when I swim and surf, going by effortlessly. I envy those sailors, but only the ones with rainbow sails! Here’s one I found on craigslist for $1500.

If you know anyone who needs crew on a sailing vessel in Oahu, or wants the company, I volunteer.

I found a marine biologist that gets sea sick

From Jessica’s Blog of Bad Advice, via Sounding the Sea.

I essentially stumbled into being a coral reef scientist. If I had properly thought about things ahead of time, I would never have ended up here. Why am I an unlikely candidate for this job? Why, I’m glad you asked!

I get horribly, horribly seasick. As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to travel on an oceanographic research vessel from Hawaii to San Diego on a fieldtrip. According to the crew, it was the smoothest crossing they had ever experienced. I spent the first 5 days puking my guts out until the medic gave me a scopalomine patch. (I was too ill to learn much on that trip, but I somehow managed to snare myself a husband).

The little submarine that could

At one point, I was standing in the cave, mostly naked, with a knife in my teeth in case I had to dive down and rescue the submarine by cutting its tether, which was wrapped around a log. But the engineers, always clever, fashioned a hook and rod from some screws and a few 2x4s, using the drill they had brought along. The cave water was colder than ocean water, from what we could tell. Still, I would have gone in. My only wish is that they had finished rescuing the sub before I took my shoes off in the cave, which was in good part covered by bat shit.

I wrote a story about this $750 open source ROV, that can dive to 100 meters, for the New York Times. Please read it.

There are three little things that I couldn’t fit into the story, which I want to tell you about.

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“First Contact” by CMGW Photography

Child meets manatee.

*CMGW Photography via Boingboing*

“Shark Riders” and the GoPro dive housing

YouTube Preview Image

I try to avoid posting too much commercial content on The Scuttlefish but the production value on this video is too great to pass up. Watch and enjoy. Description from GoPro, who made the video to promote their new Dive Housing:

“Wingsuit base jumper and Italian phenom Roberta Mancino and pro surfer & world renowned free diver Mark Healey share an underwater dream.”

(A little known fact by landies–GoPros don’t focus underwater. This housing changes that, as does the Backscatter housing, which has the additional benefit of being able to use different types of filters to wash out the overage of blue when you go deep.)

My Village, My Lobster

A documentary by Joshua Wolff about the dangers that Nicaragua’s lobster divers encounter every day while searching for Caribbean spiny lobster, otherwise known as red gold. *via Mission Blue*