Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Nav tools found at wreck site

Apr 22, 2014
Octant and chronometer side by side on the seafloor. Only the shades of the octant are visible above the sediment.

Octant and chronometer side by side on the seafloor. Only the shades of the octant are visible above the sediment.

Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition

In addition to being a circumnavigator, ON contributing editor Jeff Williams is also a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilot on board the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. The research vessel Okeanos Explorer is currently using ROVs to explore parts of the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. One the areas of interest is a 19th century shipwreck site. While using an ROV to carefully image the shipwreck site, the investigators found two navigational tools poking out of the bottom sediment. On closer inspection these artifacts turned out to be a chronometer and an octant (a sight-taking instrument that subtends one eighth of a circle compared the the sextant's one sixth).

For an ocean sailor like Jeff, who has used celestial navigation in his sailing  exploits, the discovery of the 19th century navigational instruments established a special connection to the mariners who operated the ill-fated wreck. Read Jeff's post on the Okeanos Explorer blog.

You can watch live video streams of the Gulf of Mexico exploration here.  

 

Edit Module

Add your comment: