Marine Megatropolis 1974 – 1981
Photos by Bob Evans
Exhibit will run November 16, 2017 — April 30, 2018
The Exhibit includes 26 spectacular images selected from expeditions by Bob Evans and Andrew J. McMullen of La Mer Bleu Productions in Santa Barbara. Bob and Andy photo-documented the marine life as it developed beneath the offshore oil platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel between 1974 and 1981.
Also premiered in the Exhibit are images from what is believed to be the first alternative uses for offshore oil platforms. Artifacts from these expeditions include: Self-designed camera housings, log books identifying relevant survey data from more than 850 dives and a can from the first mussel harvest for human consumption from the offshore oil platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel.
The Collection includes over 2,500 35-mm color slides and 7,000 feet of super 8- and 16-mm footage. The Collection forms a foundation for fish counts, animal identifications, and comparison for research being conducted today. It has unique historical, educational, scientific, political and artistic value.
“Oil platforms off California are among the most productive marine fish habitats globally”
The Geology of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel & The Chumash Use of Asphaltum
The Geology of Oil in the Channel exhibit shows how oil is formed, discuss the natural oil and gas seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel — the second largest such seeps in the world. The oil rich Monterey Formation which holds most of California’s known oil resources and is of major importance for understanding the complex geological history of California will be illustrated through a topographical map of the Santa Barbara Channel and the north and south geologic cross-section of the western transverse ranges of California. Geological forces that created the many layers of rock under our local waters and land will be displayed with photographs of natural seeps, along with actual samples liquid and rock formations of asphaltum.
The Chumash Use of Asphaltum exhibit addresses the indigenous people of this area, the Chumash, who have been making use of this local maritime resource for thousands of years.
Point Conception Lighthouse Fresnel Lens
The Point Conception first order Fresnel lens has stood watch for nearly 160 years, guiding ships safely around the “Cape Horn of the Pacific.” The Point Conception lens was designed and built in Paris, France in 1854, using a refracted prism system designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. The lens was first lit on February 1, 1856. Because of persistent heavy fog at higher elevation, a second lighthouse was built on the lower bluff, and the lens was moved in June, 1882. While the lens saw many vessels meet their ultimate fate in this “graveyard” of the Central Coast, the light also saved and provided safe passage to thousands of vessels over the years.
Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light
Over 300 women are known to have served as head lighthouse keepers in the U.S between 1850 and 1920. Learn about their firsthand accounts of life as a keeper, stories that are rare and often unknown.
Tragedy at Honda: Honoring the George Writer Family
Within ten minutes, nine battle-ready destroyers lay impaled and stranded along the treacherous reefs of the “Devil’s Jaw” near Honda Creek. The Honda Point Disaster was the largest peacetime loss in U.S. Naval history.
Tall Ship Education Program
Students explore man’s relationship with the ocean, gain an appreciation for our maritime heritage, and learn the concepts of ‘historical perspectives’ and ‘interpretation’. Through challenging hands-on activities students develop problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.
The Lost Posters of Surf Artist Rick Sharp
Surfer Rick Sharp restarted his career in the 1970s with his fantasy based organic surf posters, currently on display at the museum.
Through the display of historic artifacts and images, the story of ranching on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands comes to life. Learn about the personalities, products and environment that made island ranching possible.
Marine Safety Agencies and USCG Black Fin
Protecting our coasts and waterways, this exhibit highlights marine safety agencies in the Santa Barbara Channel, their service to our community and emergency heroes.
Mario M. Castagnola Commercial Fishing
From harpoon fishing to modern fisheries management, the Mario M. Castagnola Commercial Fishing exhibit uses artifacts and images tell the story of Santa Barbara’s historic fishing industries.
Origins of Deep Water Commercial Diving
The trade of the commercial diver has been practiced off the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands since the 1800’s.
The region was home to a group of robust divers who developed the abalone fisheries, making Santa Barbara the leading producer of abalone in the world, as abalone became a sought-after delicacy. From these ranks of abalone divers came the men who pioneered deep water oil field diving using helium, which continues today with urchin fisheries and oil extraction.
The global revolution in diving equipment and techniques that were created in Santa Barbara remain at the forefront of technology today. The world’s largest publicly held diving company, Oceaneering, and Kirby Morgan Diving Systems International, the world’s largest manufacturer of surface supplied diving equipment, were both founded in Santa Barbara during the pioneering days of deep water off-shore oilfield diving which transformed the trade of commercial diving into an international industry.
SBMM became the West Coast home to the Historical Diving Society in 2009, and proudly exhibits the helmets and equipment used by our abalone divers and the original helmets that launched commercial mixed gas diving.
The exclusive Fred Kavli Diving Technology Exhibit includes suits, compressors and helmets. It is the only exhibit of its kind in the world, featuring these historic commercial mixed gas diving helmets, as it contains one of only two models ever produced.
Discover the rich maritime history of California’s Central Coast, dating back over 10,000 years to the region’s earliest seafarers, the Chumash. The Historic Path features a Chumash tomol, an interactive explorer map, and artifacts that bring the area’s long maritime history to life. EXHIBITS INCLUDE: Chumash Exhibit, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust Explorers Exhibit, Otter and Seal Hunting Exhibit, Hide and Tallow Trade Exhibit, Supply Ships Exhibit, Shore Whaling Exhibit, and George Castagnola Family Santa Barbara Waterfront Exhibit
Goleta’s Cannons features two of the historic cannons found on the Goleta coast on January 23, 1981. The exhibit highlights clues to the cannon’s past, how the community restored these artifacts, and step-by-step instructions for how cannons of that era were fired, including audio of an actual cannon firing. The cannons are on loan from the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
You can scope out the surroundings undetected.
Marilyn S. Tennity Surfing Exhibit
Discover the rich surf history of the Central Coast through this interactive exhibit, which features one-of-a-kind artifacts, oral histories with surfing greats and a surf board you can stand on.
Originally built by brothers Malcolm and Allan Loughead, the F-1 seaplane was constructed in Santa Barbara for the U.S. Navy in World War I. After the war, the brothers used the seaplane for sightseeing trips and aerial filming for Flying A Studios films. Suspended from the museum’s ceiling is a 1/4 scale flying model of the F-1 built by the Santa Barbara Radio Control Modelers Club. Malcolm and Allan’s Company eventually became Lockheed Martin.