Transcript for The Voyage of the Lee, segment 03 of 21


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By contrast, the odyssey of the Samuel P. Lee begins seven months earlier and more than eight thousand miles to the north on a warm August afternoon in the sheltered waters of San Francisco Bay. It is here that Operation Deep Sweep has its start. The thirty-five thousand mile scientific expedition begins as the Lee steams from her home port of Redwood City, California. It is August nineteenth, nineteen eighty-three. At an onboard news conference journalists meet with leaders and supporters of the expedition. They are David Howell, Branch Chief of Pacific Marine Geology for the U. S. G. S; his colleague, Gary Greene, co-Chief Scientist and Project Coordinator for Deep Sweep, who was been involved with this project from its inception and who will guide the efforts of the Lee and her scientific team; and representing the private sector, Michael Halbouty, a Texas oil man and internationally respected geologist with close ties to the Reagan Administration. It is Halbouty who is founder of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, has been instrumental in getting Washington's support for Deep Sweep. An energy advisor to President Reagan during the postelection transition period, Halbody believes strongly that it is government which should provide much of the fundamental science if U. S. oil and energy industries are to remain strong. Among the scientists onboard this day there is an air of excitement and expectancy and of unconcealed optimism about the upcoming voyage.

I think that it's a significant geologic excursion, expedition if you like. It has a potential of finding a great deal new about the Pacific Basin. It's a major undertaking for the duration of time that we're involved and for the amount of time that the equipment is expected to stay operational. I think it has a potential of being historical.

Operation Deep Sweep will be as expensive in its execution as it is elaborate in its conception. The twelve million dollar venture will take the lead first from San Francisco to the Juan de Fuca Ridge offshore the U. S. - Canadian border and then far north to the Bering Sea and the Arctic. As winter closes in, plans call for the ship to come about and head due south first to Hawaii, then through the Line Islands to Samoa, and finally in December to New Zealand. As the new year begins, the S. P. Lee will make its way to McMurdo Station in the Antarctic and then back to New Zealand and the long return journey north, first to the Fiji Islands, then to the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga, and from there to the island nation of Vanuatu, and then north to the Solomons, and still farther north to Papua, New Guinea. From there the Lee steams to the Marshall Islands, and finally across the Pacific to Hawaii and on to its home base in northern California.

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