Expedition Equipment

Expeditions require various types of equipment. The type of equipment required depends on a number of things that include: season, weather, altitude, locations, duration, etc. For The Crystal River Florida Manatee Online Expedition, we are in Florida, for three weeks, during the winter, and spending most of our time on and under water. All the these things must be considered as we plan on the equipment we will need to make complete our expedition.

Think about past explorers and their expeditions. What were the pieces of equipment these explorers took with them? If these same explorers were making their expeditions today what are the modern pieces of equipment that these explorers probably take with them?


COBRA TOURER KAYAK - A special sit-atop boat that allows us to carry our equipment and safely and quietly search for manatees. The sit-atop design allows us to easily get on and off the kayak to snorkel with the manatees. (This is our water transportation.)

PADDLES - We are the kayak motors and the paddles are our propellers.

Kayak Equipment

LOTUS DESIGNS PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES (PFD) - Specially designed life preservers that are worn for kayaking safely.

DRY BAGS - These special plastic bags can be sealed so no water gets inside. Anything we want to keep dry we put in these bags.

ROOFTOP KAYAK RACKS - These racks allow us to drive around with our kayaks strapped to the roof of our van. These are special racks that allow us to easily roll our kayaks onto the roof of our van.

Navigation Equipment

MAGELLAN GPS - This uses navigation satellites (Global Positioning Satellites), circleing the earth, to determine our exact position on the earth. Using position data this gps device maps our route, shows us the direction we are heading, our speed, how long until we reach our final destination, and who to return to our staring point. This gps device allows us to store location positions in its memory so we can return to locations again.

COMPASS - This helps us find determine what direction we are heading. The needle of the compass always points to the earth's magentic north pole

AQUA LUNG/ U.S. DIVERS CO. Snorkeling Equipment

MASK - This covers our eyes and nose lets us see clearly underwater.

SNORKEL - A special tube we breathe through while swimming on the surface.

FINS - These paddle-like shoes give us more power for swimming underwater.

WET SUIT - A rubber suit is worn to help keep us warm underwater and to protect us from getting cut or scratched.

WEIGHT BELT - A special belt that holds the lead weights that help us sink underwater. Weights can be put on or taken off the belt to help us adjust whether we float or sink.

LEAD WEIGHTS - These heavy chunks of metal attach to our weight belt.

Underwater Camera Equipment

NIKONOS UNDERWATER CAMERAS - Special cameras designed for taking still pictures underwater using film.

NIKONOS UNDERWATER CAMERA LENSES - Nikonos underwater cameras have different lenses that can be changed for taking pictures of very large things (like manatees) very small things, or things very close up. THESE LENSES CANNOT BE CHANGED UNDERWATER!

SEA & SEA HOUSING FOR DIGITAL CAMERA - A special metal case that the digital camera goes inside. This case allows us to take the camera underwater and take pictures.

UNDERWATER STROBES - Special camera flashes designed for use with the underwater cameras.

Above Water Camera Equipment

DIGITAL STILL CAMERA - A special camera for taking pictures without film. The camera stores the pictures on a computer floppy disk.

NIKON N90s- A professional still camera that uses film to take picures.

NIKON CAMERA LENSES - Nikon cameras have different lenses that can be changed for taking picture of very large things, very small things, things far away or things very close up.

FILTERS - Filters screw onto the front of the camera lenses. Filters can protect the camera lenses from scratches, reduce glare from the sun (like sunglasses for camera lenses), add colors to our pictures, and allow us to do special effects photography.

FLASHES - Special strobe lights that allow us to take pictures in the dark, in the shade, or in dim light.

TRIPOD - A 3-legged stand that we can attach our camera to for taking pictures.

Scientific Equipment

SALINITY REFRACTOMETER - An instrument that allows us to measure the amount of salt in a small sample of water.

SECCHI DISK - This device that helps us measure that underwater visibility. This simple device is just a 25 centimeter circle of white plastic connected to a marked, measured line. We lower the disk into the water and measure how far underwater we can see it.

DEPTH SOUNDING LINE - A simple way to measure the depth of the water. A weight is attached to a marked, measured line and lowered into the water until it hits the bottom. The is one of the oldest ways to measure the water depth.

DIGITAL THERMOMETER - This special thermometer can measure both water temperature and air temperature.

Computer Equipment

LAPTOP COMPUTER - Our laptop computer alllows you to join us on our underwater expeditions. With this small, light computer we can: store and process the photos we take, draw pictures, write our teacher guides, record our data, use it as a calculator, send and receive email, design our and manage this web site, surf the web, watch movies, play games, and use it as a tape recorder. (Our computer has a hole in the side were we can plug in different devices like a floppy disc drive, and a CD-ROM drive.) Our computer is powered by a rechargable battery. We can plug our computer into our desktop computer at home to transfer files and information between both computers. Without this powerful, portable computer our interactive, Internet expedition would not be possible.

FLOPPY DISC DRIVE - A device that allow our computer to read from and record on computer floppy disks. (Our computer has a removable floppy disc drive.)

CD-ROM DRIVE - A device that allow our computer only to read from CD-ROM's. Our CD-ROM drive can read computer CD-ROM's and also play music CD-ROM's and computer games CD-ROM's, too.(Our computer has a removable CD-ROM drive.)

XTEND AIRPLANE & AUTO ADAPTOR - This device that plugs into our van's power outlet and allows us to run our computer off the van's battery. (When we are traveling across country we use our computer a lot. When one is us is driving, the other is working on the computer (Mrs. Brown likes to take a lot of naps, so Mr. Brown is usually the one on the computer working on the expedition web site or playing computer games.)


MINIVAN - A van is the only way we can easily and comfortably carry all of our expedition equipment.

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