Expedition Equipment

On The Belize Whale Shark Expedition we are studying whale sharks in the country of Belize, in Central America, by the Caribbean Sea. 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. We will be scuba diving and hiking. 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?

SCUBA Diving Equipment

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

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

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

- A rubber suit is worn to help keep us warm underwater and to protect us from getting cut or scratched. In Caribbean Sea we wear a very thin wet suit because the water here is so warm.

AIR TANK - A metal container that safely holds that air we breathe underwater. When empty our air tank is refilled with a special air pump, called an air compressor.

REGULATOR - This gives us air from our air tank. We connect the regulator to the air tank and breathe from the regulator mouthpiece.

- An inflatable vest we wear that allows us to control our buoyancy (floating and sinking) underwater. (A BC allows us to become neutrally buoyant underwater.) The BC is attached to our air tank and allows us to carry our air tank on our backs.

- This is a special water-proof computer that we wear on our wrist. It tells us everything we need to dive safely. It shows us how much air is in our air tank, how deep we are, how long we have been underwater, when we must go back up to the surface, and how long we can stay underwater if we make another dive.

- We wear this on our wrists to help us find our way underwater.

DIVE KNIFE - This is not a weapon. This is a tool we use underwater for cutting, prying, digging, pounding, measuring.

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!

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

HOUSING FOR DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERA - A special plastic case that the digital video camera goes inside. This case allows us to take the camera underwater and take underwater video and the digital pictures that you see in our daily expedition journals.

UNDERWATER VIDEO LIGHTS - Special lights designed for use with the underwater video cameras.

Above Water Camera Equipment

- A special camera for taking digital video and still digital pictures. The camera stores the video on a digital video tape and the digital still pictures on a tiny Memory Stick.

- A professional digital still

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.

Navigation Equipment

GPS - This instrument 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.

Computer Equipment

LAPTOP COMPUTER - Our laptop computer alllows you to join us on our underwater expeditions. On our expedition we use our computer to store and process the photos and videos we take, draw pictures, write our journals, record our data, use it as a calculator, send and receive email, design our and manage this web site, and surf the web, Without this powerful, portable computer our interactive, Internet expedition would not be possible.

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE - Our laptop internal hard drive is not large enough to hold all our photo so this gives us extra storage space for our digital photos.

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