Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Joy of Okeanos

I have always loved the ocean. Through my whole life, I don't think I have ever lived more than thirty miles from salt water. The sea and the life contained therein is a constant source of wonder and newness. So I was really happy to find that the marine survey ship Okeanos was streaming live audio and video during their Northeast Canyons survey. Their cameras are trained on the canyons and canyon walls off of the northeast coast near the US, Canadian border.

There is something relaxing sitting in front of my computer just watching the ocean bottom as the operators of the cameras focus in for closeups of animal life that I have never seen before and would never see otherwise. It is an unhurried process because the appearance of the stars of the show, these unusual undersea creatures, don't live to a schedule. They come on camera when fate decides. For those of you who would like to tune in, here is the link  http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/media/exstream/exstream.html

One thing that is most interesting is the audio stream. You can hear the scientists, the pilots of the underwater remote operated vehicles, and the ships crew interacting. They are a joy for me to listen to. They are unhurried and collegial. There is a sense of complete co-operation. These people are happy, even joyful, in their work. They are contributing to the sum total of knowledge and are pleased to do so. As I work on other projects during my day, I leave the audio feed on so that I may quickly tab over to the video if something interesting comes on screen. It adds to my day immensely.

Most of what I look at and write about revolves around Washington, DC. The differences between the conversation among the denizens of that confused and misguided city are in stark contrast to the scientists and engineers of the Okeanos. The people on the Okeanos in their unhurried manner seem to be getting so much accomplished. I am sure that the video tapes of their explorations will benefit fellow scientists and students for many years to come. I will attest that it gives me pleasure, relaxation, and a total change of pace as I go about my day. That is the joy of Okeanos.

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