Featured Article: January 2023

MOP Tours UH Marine Center

Written by: Alexandrya Robinson, UHM MOP student 

It was a beautiful day in November with light rains dotting the sky, complete with the signature rainbows Hawaiʻi is famous for. It made the perfect backdrop for another MOP field trip. Students headed to Pier 35, where the University of Hawaiʻi Marine Center was waiting for them. First, MOP students were able to look out at the visiting E/V Nautilus ship that sat docked in front of a visiting research vessel from Alaska.

Students were guided inside to view the two decommissioned manned submersibles, the Pisces IV and Pisces V. Excitingly, they were led on the tour by one of the submersible pilots- Maximilian “Max” Cremer. It was fascinating to hear about the research that the two submersibles had been a part of, and it set the scene for the procession of technology that has been seen in ocean exploration. The students were also able to explore the interior of the two subs, where it was easy to see how three-man groups of operators would submerge into the ocean’s depths piloting these fascinating machines.

Guided by Max and Meagan Putts, a jack-of-all-trades at the University of Hawai’i Marine Center, the tour continued to the main event–the R/V Kilo Moana’s amazing remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Luʻukai. Max’s colleague Daniel, another trained ROV pilot, was there to show the students a live demonstration of the ROV Luʻukai in action. Students were shown the two arms, named the Orion and the Mantis, in action. The Orion is the primary arm that is used and manipulated by a simplified 3-D model of the arm on Luʻukai. Lights, cameras, and a basket were all deployed in a series of interesting demonstrations from powering up to lifting a traffic cone from one spot to another.

In addition to Luʻukai, students saw both the ROV Argus and the ROV Hercules which were in storage from the E/V Nautilus. The Spring semester already has a tour lined up of the E/V Nautilus which is exciting, especially having just glimpsed the outside of the vessel. Of course, a quick stop at the MOP boat is always necessary to end this amazing tour.