For 10 days this summer, I traveled from San Diego to Astoria, OR., aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s beautiful research ship, RV Falkor. I was joined by 5 other artists from all over the country, including a painter from Paris while the ship was engaged in mapping the ocean floor, specifically in search of methane seeps. The seeps can be seen using very advanced sonar imaging technology, sending pings to the bottom of the sea and back to the ship while those sounds reveal the depth and character of the ocean floor. It’s just like Das Boot, Red October and Sea Hunt listening to the mysterious sounds and echoes while watching the colorful images rolling across the enormous monitors in the “Science Control Room” onboard Falkor. The chief scientist, Susan Merle, was studying this swath of the coast - the Cascadia Margin, to establish a baseline survey of what’s down there. This will help scientists study the effects of methane on deep sea flora and fauna, as well as prepare for the potential of future petroleum industry exploitation. As artists, we were given the opportunity to observe and participate in the study, draw and photograph, stand watch at the sonar monitoring and translate the fascinating process into our own artistic expressions while eating gourmet meals, and engaging deeply with a rich life at sea on the Falkor.