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R/V MANTA 2014-2015

R/V MANTA is an important tool for sanctuary research, but also serves as a regional asset.

Below are some of the highlights from R/V MANTA activities not specifically associated with sanctuary research cruises.

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image
Photo credits: FGBNMS
unless otherwise noted

SCS Installed
June 2015

A Scientific Computer System, or SCS, was installed on R/V MANTA to collect data on seawater during offshore expeditions. NOAA developed this system to modernize and standardize data collection on its primary ocean and coastal research vessels.

The seawater flow-through system collects, processes, displays, and archives data from navigational and scientific sensors. The sensors installed on MANTA so far include meteorological data (wind direction and speed, air temp, humidity, etc.), vessel navigation data (course, speed, location), surface water temperature and salinity, light intensity (PAR) and two fluorometers (chlorophyll and turbidity).

Man pointing out features of a system of water pipes and gauges mounted on the wall above a sink on R/V MANTA
The sensors installed on MANTA, so far, include meteorological data (wind direction and speed, air temp, humidity, etc.), vessel navigation data (course, speed, location), surface water temperature and salinity, light intensity (PAR) and two fluorometers (chlorophyll and turbidity). (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)

These two fluorometers will measure chlorophyll and turbidity.
(Image: FGBNMS/Park)

Bird Rescue
June 2015

During a research trip to the sanctuary the first week of June, a juvenile Masked Booby landed on the deck of R/V MANTA while the staff were relaxing at the end of a long day. The bird returned to the boat several times over the next few days and appeared to be in distress after flying into a window on its last visit. Staff brought the bird back to Galveston for a stay at a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Northern Gannet on deck of R/V MANTA
A juvenile Northern Gannet visiting with researchers on R/V MANTA. (Image: FGBNMS/Johnston)
Northen Gannet
Northern Gannet preening on the deck of R/V MANTA.
(Image: FGBNMS/Shetler)


Woman carrying a cardboard box across the street to a house
Michelle Johnston delivered the injured gannet to a rehabber in Galveston. (Image: FGBNMS)

Juvenile Masked Booby in a softsided mesh containment at a rehab facility
The injured gannet was given a comfortable place to recover at the rehabber's. (Image: FGBNMS/Johnston)

Yard Time
March-April 2015

Every couple of years, R/V MANTA is pulled out of the water for important maintenance and hull cleaning. Sanctuary staff help with the scraping and painting effort, while specialists are called in for other repairs.

R/V MANTA (boat) suspended from a large, wheeled frame in a sling. This was used to haul it out of the water then move it across land to be placed on blocks.
R/V MANTA just out of the water at the shipyard on March 24, 2015. (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)
Close up look at the jets encrusting with fouling organisms under the hull of  R/V MANTA now up on land.
R/V MANTA's jets were completed fouled with encrusting organisms. (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)


R/V MANTA up on blocks in the shipyard
R/V MANTA was pulled out of the water to scrape and repaint the hull and make a few repairs. (Image: FGBNMS/Johnston)

Ship jet parts on pallets on the ground with people cleaning and scraping them for painting.
R/V MANTA's jets were also pulled for scraping and repainting. (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)
R/V MANTA with a newly painted hull in a boat lift over the water ready to be lowered in.
R/V MANTA with a freshly painted hull ready to be lowered back into the water. Thanks to the cleaning and repainting she made 32 knots on her way back to Galveston! (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)

Operations Staff Member of the Year
February 6, 2014

Congratulations to our very own Captain Mike Shetler on winning the Operations Staff Member of the Year Award from NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries! He's a true team player and an indispensable resource aboard R/V MANTA.

Mike Shetler

Boat Tours

R/V MANTA spends a lot of time at sea, but every once in a while we are able to take a small group on a tour when she is dockside.

Students listening to LTJG Jamie Park on the top deck of R/V MANTA
Home school students toured R/V MANTA on 3/23/15
Jamie talking to a group of students on the back deck of the MANTA
Home school students talked with LTJG Park about vessel operations 3/17/14.
Group visit on RV MANTA
The Texas Academy of Science meeting at Texas A&M Galveston, included a tour of R/V MANTA on 3/7/14

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves