school of fish in background
Skip to page Header home about your sanctuary visiting your sanctuary education science management news and events protecting resources image library document library Get Involved advisory council NOAA logo - a circle with a stylized seabird in flight; background is dark blue above the bird and light blue below the bird.

blank spaceFind us on Facebook

     Follow @fgbnms on Twitter


Image Library

Skip to Main Content
Image Library Home    Species Lists    Maps
Videos    Manta Catalog    Monitoring
Historic Expeditions    Secrets of the Gulf Expedition


On January 15, 2008 R/V MANTA hit the water for the first time, at the shipyard in Bellingham, WA.

Following a series of sea trials and scientific operations with Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in March 2008, the MANTA was placed aboard another vessel and literally "shipped" to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Images from those shakedown cruises are visible below.

From Fort Lauderdale, the MANTA headed to Galveston, with stops at Key West and St. Petersburg, FL for small open houses along the way. She arrived at the Texas A&M Galveston docks on Monday, June 16, 2008.

The official dedication ceremony for R/V MANTA took place at Pier 21 in Galveston on Friday, June 27, 2008. Dr. Sylvia Earle christened the MANTA by breaking a bottle of champagne across the starboard rail.

For more information about R/V MANTA:

Visit our Research Vessel page.
View images of the MANTA Under Construction, from design to launch.
View images of the MANTA Dedication.

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image. All images should be credited to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS).

Captain Chuck at the helm of the R/V Manta with 2 people visible in background
Captain Chuck Curry at the helm of the R/V Manta during its first week of sanctuary operations.
Side view of Emma driving the vessel and looking out the front windows of the pilot house
Emma Hickerson taking a turn at the wheel of the R/V Manta.
Dan leaning on a navigation chart at the chart table in the pilot house
Dan Basta, director of the National Marine Sanctuary Program, standing at the chart table in the pilot house.
Data screen showing vessel coordinates and speed below a map of the area showing the vessel's physical location
Woohoo! Proof that the Manta can operate at speeds up to 34 knots under optimal conditions.
G.P. standing in the foreground to the left with an expanse of water and treelined shore behind him
G.P. Schmahl on board the Manta with scenic Lake Washington shoreline in the background.
G.P. (on the left) squeezing his head through the neoprene neck opening of his dry suit with Mitchell's help
G.P. getting into his dry suit for the first leap off the Manta.
G.P. in his dry suit standing to the left of Mitchell and Dan on the main deck.  Dan is also in a dry suit.  Mitchell, in the middle, is ina NOAA jumpsuit and a ball cap.
G.P. and Dan Basta discuss operational details with Mitchell Tart.
Mitchell on the right tucking in G.P.'s dive hood
Mitchell putting the final touches on G.P.'s hood.
Dan, in full dry suit and hood, putting on his dive gloves while standing on the main deck
Dan putting on his dive gloves.
Dan and G.P. in full drysuit gear standing on dive platform at rear of vessel with Mitchell
G.P. Schmahl and Dan Basta on the portside dive platform with Mitchell Tart.
Dan leaping off dive platform in to the water.  Platform is to the right
In keeping with tradition, Dan Basta makes the first leap off the new vessel.
Dan and G.P. floating in the water with just their head and shoulders showing.  Boat dive platform visible to the right.
G.P. and Dan beginning their snorkel operations in the cold waters of Lake Washington.
Photo credit: FGBNMS
Dan and G.P. snorkeling in front of the Manta heading toward the open space between the two hulls
G.P. and Dan conduct a hull inspection along the water line of the R/V Manta.
Looking down through an opening in the deck of the vessel to the water below.  G.P. and Dan are visible floating in the water.
Looking down at G.P. and Dan through the moonpool hatch on the main deck. G.P. and Dan are underneath the Manta between the two hulls.
Tracy holding a control box on the back deck which operates an ROV in the water.  A person standing to the right is feeding the bright yellow umilical line into the water.
Tracy Hamburger operating an ROV off the back deck of the Manta.
2 people on deck operating ROV controls.  1 person on the dive platform watching the ROV in the water.  2 snorkelers in the water observing the ROV in action.
Dan and G.P. observing ROV operations from the water.
Dan climbing up the ladder back onto the dive platform with his fins hanging from his wrists.
Dan Basta, first in and first out!
G.P. still in full drysuit using the shower on the dive platform to rinse off
G.P. tests out the shower on the portside dive platform.
Dan and G.P. posing on either side of Mitchell on the deck of the Manta after their snorkel excursion.  Lake Washington water and shoreline visible in background
Dan, Mitchell and G.P. pose following the Manta's first snorkel operation.
Dan, Mitchell, Emma and G.P. posing on deck after the snorkel operations.  Main deck house visible in the background.
Emma Hickerson joins Dan, Mitchell and G.P.
Emma and G.P. manning lines by the front railing of the Manta as the boat approaches the closed gates of the lock
Emma Hickerson and G.P. Schmahl man the lines as the Manta approaches the locks between Lake Washington and Puget Sound.
Emma and G.P. at the front railing of the Manta with the lock gates opening behind them
Emma and G.P. at the bow of the Manta as the locks open.
2 men on the back deck attaching a cylindrical yellow object to a pole via a bundle of wires
Two researchers preparing the sidescan equipment for operations.
2 men working on the wiring for sidescan equipment
Two researchers continue rigging the sidescan equipment.

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