Mobing the boat

Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
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10
Trip End Jan 20, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Seattle is where this journey begins. This job is also for Williamson and Associates, our company has been doing a lot of work with them lately. Donny is up in Seattle as well doing a NOAA survey in Oak Harbor for these guys at the same time as a matter of fact. So he and I had a chance to hang out a little during the mob and catch up.
I will be doing the second half of a fiber optic cable route survey from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The job was originally started months ago on a boat called the Aquila, but after several setbacks including client disagreements with the boat capitan, a winch accident that ended in a lost finger, and the University of Hawaii walking off the job, taking their sonar with them. The project was scrapped until another vessel, sonar, and crew could be found and pick up where the Aquila left off and continue to Japan.
  The boat WE will be taking across the Pacific is the R/V Mt. Mitchell, a decommissioned NOAA vessel bought and restored by a local Seattle company. At 230 feet long and with birthing for 50 people she's plenty large enough for the crossing, even in the North Pacific in December. ( check her out at www.rvmtmitchell.com ) She has two multibeam sonars attached to her already so our mobilization was really rather minimal. Just setting up all the computers and interfacing. Our rooms are absolutely AWESOME, everyone gets their own rooms and they all have desks and sinks and enough room to move around in as well as (AHHHHH!!!!) sattelite internet in every room. This was looking like the sweetest boat I've ever been on by a long shot. Designated research vessels are always better than vessels of opportunity anyway, but this boat is all about getting rid of the "work boat" feeling and making the crew feel like they're in a home away from home. The mob went together pretty easy, one small hitch though..... Keith, while carrying groceries into the freezer cracked his head on a corner and split it to the bone. I drove him to the emergency room while the rest of the guys prepared to shove off. Three staples to the dome and a bunch of paperwork later we transited to the fuel dock to pick up a measly 100,000 gallons of diesel before setting sail.

I've learned a bit about mariner folklore already on this voyage. I've heard all the basics before like don't ever whistle or say "pig", and never bring pork or bananas on a boat. But those are old salty dog superstitions that are up there with it being bad luck to sail with women on board. In this case the first mate was a woman so I don't think we could get around that one. I learned a new one that you're never supposed to name a boat in a word ending in A, I'm not sure why but it's supposedly bad luck. Maybe that's why the previous job went so bad on the AquilA?!? Another new one that I learned is that you're never supposed to set sail for a voyage on a Friday. I heard a phrase that went something like "On a Friday she was launched, on a Friday she set sail, and on a Friday she met a storm and was lost in a gale" This is something that is still observed today and I'll be dammed if we didn't sit at the fuel dock until 12:01 Saturday morning before throwing lines and setting off on our Pacific Crossing.
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Where I stayed

Comments

David on

Hello, everyone. Soon I go to Seattle. Thanks for Article)

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