Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/2012 UP Date



File:Underwater Archaeologists, 19th Century Shipwreck.png
U.S.Navy Photo of Divers on another 19th Century Ship Wreck

  Quite a number of wrecks have been found in the Gulf of Mexico since we reported on this one last spring. This has been the result of increased offshore oil exploration and a drive to update the area's charts by NOAA, sometimes called "The Wet NASA". In this article we promised to tell our readers more about NOAA and the NOAA Corps. Recently NOAA found and identified a Union civil war vessel lost to the famed Confederate Raider ALABAMA. Last week we did provide an article on the NOAA Corps and one of their ships engaged in arctic exploration. We will get around to providing a comprehensive or series of comprehensive articles describing the entire range of NOAA services and work products, the recent discovery of the long lost Union transport lost to the CSS ALABAMA reminded us of our promise to do so. But we can't get to it this week , so we thought that we'd look for NOAA related past articles that most of our new visitors probably didn't read when they were first published and add some hyperlinks that take you into the NOAA fleet to look around. At the bottom of this article are two hyperlinks. The first one takes you to the original story on these specific Gulf of Mexico ship wrecks with photos. The second takes you to the web site for NOAA's most recent ship wreck hunter the NOAA ship OKEANOS EXPLORER.

 Shell Oil discovered an unknown anomaly on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico in 2011. Recently the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration ship (NOAA) OKEANOS EXPLORER conducted a protracted expedition in the area and confirmed the Shell discovery as a nineteenth century ship wreck. The Huff Post for May 18, 2012 carried a story and clear as a bell photos and even a video of the wreck. the NOAA ship OKEANOS EXPLORER also discovered, and NOAA is investigating a total of three ship wrecks in the general vicinity of the wreck you may view through the below hyperlink to the HUFF POST story.

While the name of the vessel and the date of the sinking are not yet known, dating the vessel to the early to mid nineteenth century was fairly easy due to the water clarity and the nature of the items in the hull's remains and debris field.  The lower portion of the hull is sheathed in copper, a typical shipbuilding practice of the era. The debris field has muskets and cannon scattered about, these weapons are generally identifiable by type for a particular era, actual manufacture dates may be available when one is recovered. China plates were noted of a type well known to be popular between 1800 and 1830. Also noted in the underwater photography is a ship's stove which to our eyes appears to be a very small  masonry construction. Only a few such stoves have ever been found , this we think is the second one in the Gulf of Mexico. We have other interesting ship wreck photos scattered about in the OCEANOGRAPHY and MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST pages of blog.

 As the collection of ship wreck images grows we will review them and eventually organize them to determine which ones we may retain in the long term and post them in an organized manner in probably the OCEANOGRAPHY section under a subheading such as MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY  Meanwhile, the  monthly blog log still carries pictures of the wreck of the COSTA  CORDOVIA. By the way, have you ever wondered about NOAA, and what type of ships and aircraft they have, and what they do and who operates them?  Keep watching the blogs, in the near future we'll tell you about America's smallest uniformed naval service that finds and protects historic ship wrecks, charts the world, maps the ocean bottom, protects marine mammals and coral, researches ice burgs, and dozens of other arduous sea research tasks and while it has been in service to America since about the time of Louis and Clark is still mostly unknown and unseen by the average American, the NOAA CORPS.  Click on the hyperlink below for the full story, photos and video from the Huff Post.

Original Story:

Check out the NOAA's shipwreck hunter the OKEANOS EXPLORER

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