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Meridian Passages, Volume XIII, Number 27

Central Pacific Edition

The Team

Cast & Crew

Note: Photographer Bill and two members of the
crew not pictured – someone had to steer the ship!

The Meridian Passages staff have fielded requests for a list of personnel aboard. Included here are the 36 folks sailing on Mermaid (counting Alan who was with us March 4-14) and the Nauticos team ashore providing regular & critical support. Of course, there are also folks at WHOI, MMA Offshore, U. of Hawaii, ship agents, crews of SauVage & Machias, CARC Cedar Rapids, NOAA, NASA, and helpers scattered around the hemisphere, not to mention our friends & families at home who are missing us and helping in many ways.

Roles listed here are primary duties, though everyone pitches in to get the job done.

Alan Eustace – Expedition Leader

Dave Jourdan – Coordinator & Publisher

Elgen Long – Advisor



Spence King – Operations Manager

Tom Dettweiler – Technical Manager

Greg Packard – AUV Team Leader

Jeff Morris – Chief Sonar Analyst

Joe Litchfield – Ship liaison & Seadog

Christopher Griner – AUV Operator

Neil McPhee – AUV Operator

Mark Dennett – AUV Operator


Radio Communications

Tom Vinson NYØV – Comms

Rod Blocksome KØDAS – Comms Media

Bill Mills – Director of Photography

Bryan McCoy KAØYSQ – MacGyver


Education & Outreach

Sallie Smith – Teacher

Marika Lorraine – Journalist

Sue Morris – Imagery & Ops Support


At-Sea Support

Jon Thompson – Exhibitionist

Pam Geddis – Doctor & Impersonator


Ashore Support

Charlotte Vick – Ashore Logistics & PR

Louise Mnich – Negotiator & Legal-beagle

David Kling – Master of Coin

Jenne James – Ashore Coordinator

Bethany Lacroix – Website & Comms


Mermaid Vigilance Crew

Noe Flores Armenta – Master

Lania Kurniauan – Chief Officer

Rifky Harimadya – 2nd Officer

Oleksandr Baybak – Chief Engineer

Andriyanto – 1st Engineer

Samsul Bachri Leorima – 2nd Eng.

Sergiy Stepanov – ETO

Iksan Natta – Bosun

Abdullah Mahmud – AB

Ahmad Derita – AB

Burhan Andi – AB

Kasmawir – Oiler

Kasman Sonne – Oiler

Jan Pieter – Chief Cook

Mardan Andi Kanna – 2nd Cook

Susanto Doni – Steward


Message from SauVage

[In reply to our farewell message sent yesterday…]

Thanks for those sweet words. We never thought that our old sheet padding fabric would be so much appreciated! Enjoy the wines. We wish you the best for the research and we feel honored to have been part of this exciting mission. We read the books! So interesting! And meeting Alan is great. We are sailing in optimal conditions, no swell, good beam winds, smooth glide. Still 480 NM to go.

Cheers, Sophie, Didier, Cloe, Nino, Alan

The Fate of the Itasca

We know that the US Coast Guard procured ten cutters of the Lake class commissioned starting in 1928. Each carried the name of a lake in the United States. My research shows the US Government transferred the cutters to Great Britain in 1941 under the lend-lease program. The British rechristened the ships with new names and refitted the ships for war.

The Pontchartrain (HMS Hartland) and Mendota (HMS Walney) were both sunk by gun fire on Nov. 8, 1942 off the coast of Oran, North Africa and the Sebago (HMS Culver) was torpedoed and sunk by the German sub U-105 on Jan 31, 1942. The remaining seven former Lake class cutters (Chelan, Tahoe, Champlain, Itasca, Saranac, Shoshone, and Cayuga) were returned to the United States after the war – probably nearly worn out. The trail of Itasca (HMS Gorleston) ends in 1950 with it being sold for scrap.

My family once owned a 1950 Ford sedan. Perhaps it contained some of the Itasca’s steel?

— Rod Blocksome

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