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Manta docked at the Texas A&M Galveston campus
Stern view of R/V MANTA docked at Texas A&M Galveston

Coming aboard? We welcome you to our vessel and hope you enjoy your stay. We will do our best to accommodate your science and food needs, but there are a few things you will need to provide.

What We Provide

  • Meals (please make us aware of any special dietary needs)
  • Sheets, pillow/cases, blankets
  • One towel per person
  • Hardhats
  • Safety vests

What You Should Bring

  • Closed-toed shoes (required on all weather decks, at all times)
  • Personal clothing, including foul weather gear and warm clothes for indoors
  • Toiletries
  • Additional towel(s), if needed
  • Sea sickness medication
  • Sun protection--hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Steel-toed shoes if working with heavy equipment (over 50 pounds) on deck
  • Specialty foods or drinks

All participants are also required to submit an Emergency Contact form.

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Diver boarding R/V MANTA from the starboard dive platform.
A diver boards R/V MANTA from the starbaord dive platform

In order to be eligible to conduct Scuba diving activities from R/V MANTA you must be an active NOAA diver, or hold a Scuba certification through an agency or institution that has reciprocity with NOAA (e.g. AAUS). Your project must provide its own approved Dive Safety Officer to oversee diving operations.

If you are a reciprocity diver, you must submit a letter of reciprocity from your Dive Safety Officer to the NOAA Unit Diving Supervisor.

If your diving operations fall outside of these guidelines, please contact the NOAA Unit Diving Supervisor, or call 409-621-5151, x114 to discuss.

Image of Diver Checklist document

Please consult the Diver Trip Checklist to assist in planning appropriately for your dive needs.

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R/V MANTA is docked at Texas A&M University Galveston on Pelican Island. For information about the TAMUG facilities, please visit their Waterfront Operations web page.

Map of the Texas A&M Galveston campus

Download TAMUG Map (435kb pdf)

Driving Directions

  1. Travel south on I-45 to Galveston. This will become Broadway once you pass the 61st Street exit.
  2. Turn left on 51st Street.
  3. Cross over the raised viaduct, then the bridge to Pelican Island. Be careful to observe bridge speed limits.
  4. After crossing the bridge, take the first right into the TAMUG campus.
  5. Follow the campus road to the right, and continue as it turns left along the waterfront.
  6. R/V MANTA is docked at the far (east) end of the pier.
  7. If unloading heavy equipment, you may pull your vehicle onto the dock for a short period of time.
  8. Park vehicles in spaces along the dock.
  9. Obtain a parking permission document from the crew and place it on the dash of your vehicle for the duration of the cruise.

Driving directions are also part of our Safety Awareness Aboard document.

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Additonal information about R/V MANTA is available from the following pages:

Research Vessel page

Vessel Specifications page

Requesting Shiptime page


weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Small, knobby corals in foreground; boulder of brain coral in background.  Long, fingery branches of purple sponge anchored in knobby corals and standing upright.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves