Thursday, June 14, 2012

Post-Mission Reflections

So…did we find the BHR? I honestly don’t know.  Did we find two potentially interesting cultural sites? It’s very possible.  Will we ever get to find out what they are?  I sure hope so.  But this project is about so much more than cannons on the bottom of the sea.

Someone once told me that sometimes it’s the process that is most important.  This was the fourth collaborative BHR mission between the US and French Navies in as many years.  It was the most complicated one yet, with U.S. teams on all three ships (most of us not knowing how to speak French), a two-way flow of knowledge and experience from all personnel, training for the French crew on the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, and a joint quest that is a symbol of our nations’ intertwined maritime histories.  It is a quest that belongs to everyone – the interested citizen, the history buff, the donors who support the Ocean Technology Foundation, the men and women who serve or have served in the Navies, and the young student whose interest in marine technology is piqued by reading about the BHR missions.  I advocate for these missions because they are life-altering -- for me, and hopefully for all those involved, even in some small way.

I don’t really know what to do with this blog at this point.  Sometimes it is a matter of months before any other mission-related events occur, but I will continue to post any new as they happen.
The best way to monitor the blog is to sign up for the email option, and you will automatically receive any new posts via email. If you have any questions or comments for me, you can always email me directly at  Thanks for sharing this amazing quest!

I want to express my deepest appreciation to the Commanding Officers and Crews of ANTARES, STYX, and LAPLACE, the latter which also hosted an outstanding team of hydrographers from SHOM, the French Hydrographic Office.  Your Admiral gave you this mission because he believed so strongly in each of you. You have tested the limits of your ships in many ways, and I hope they exceeded your expectations.  Know that you are tougher and more determined than you may have thought, having been much farther from home than usual, and having braved the notorious North Sea in vessels not necessarily suited for it.  Know that you are the ones who really made this mission successful. You inspire me, and I will miss you.
To Bruno, John H. and Jon W.:  Many, many thanks for your leadership and unwavering faith in what we are doing. I only wish you could have been out there with us to see first-hand the hundred positive impacts of your support. You have changed lives, and there is more to come...