By Kerry Sanders, NBC News Correspondent
ABOARD THE JEAN CHARCOT – Yes, things really do go “bump in the night” out at sea. In this case it was my head. Ouch!
Rough seas last night almost rolled me out of my bunk. My head took a wallop against the bulk head, but I’m OK.
Wednesday morning could not be more glorious. We’re one-and-half time zones east of New York. The temperature is in the mid 60’s with a gentle breeze, and there’s an air of excitement as we near the site of the Titanic’s wreckage.
By Dwaine Scott/NBC News
Sunrise seen from the deck of the Jean Charcot in the North Atlantic enroute to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.
Among those onboard is Billy Lange from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He was the first to spot the wreckage in 1985.
He says he could not have imagined back then that he’d return with the gear he has onboard, and for good reason: the high-tech, HD 3-D equipment he will deploy into the depths of the North Atlantic was not yet invented 25 years ago.
When the research team arrives at the wreck site, it plans to pause in silence to remember those who died. The team has brought flowers to toss into the same frigid waters where more than 1,500 souls were lost when the ship hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.
Keeping an eye out for bad weather
The captain of the Jean Charcot research vessel has one eye on the ship’s weather charts and radar. Hurricane Danielle may move east of Bermuda and follow the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream could provide a highway for the storm to the spot we’re headed.
If there were an emergency order to evacuate, the research team says that its autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which are akin to a torpedo, could remain in the water-gathering data.
There is a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) tethered to the Jean Charcot which would have to be retrieved and then we’d move as quickly as we can to safety.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
If you’d like to follow some updates from the expedition team members, click on: facebook.com/RMSTitanicinc.