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Exploring the Exploration Vessel

Stefanie Senkow
October 10, 2018

Nautilus InternshipsNot all summer experiences at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy send cadets aboard a Coast Guard cutter. For first class cadet (1/c) Deborah King this was the case during her internship aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus.

“I stood watch and navigated the vessel as we traveled up and down the channels between San Francisco and Los Angeles,” said 1/c King.

E/V Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, is currently underway documenting and surveying unexplored regions of the deep seas and 1/c King helped the crew prepare for these expeditions by testing the equipment used in the shakedown cruise.

“I worked with the crew to determine where the vessel should go to find the best calibrations for the equipment that will be later used to do the seafloor mapping,” said 1/c King.

A unique experience for 1/c King to see the differences between the operations of a research vessel and a Coast Guard cutter, the two-week-long E/V Nautilus voyage offered breathtaking views of the star-filled nighttime sky, in addition to first-hand accounts of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives in action. ROVs are robots tethered to the ship to explore the ocean bed. And although 1/c King may not pursue a career in research, she still considers the experience an eye-opening.

“Anytime being underway is a good time to learn,” said 1/c King.