R/V Western Flyer -- Or Lunch at Phil's
Judging from the posts, I figured there'd be a few that showed. But we had
maybe 15 or 20 show. the MOA forum, advrider and bmrt forums were all
represented. What a gathering sup: Thanks to everyone that came out
for lunch at Phil's!
I arrived a few minutes early to find boney in the parking lot along with a couple of other intrepid eaters.
We'd originally taken over a table to the back of the place. As we gathered
momentum and much to the dismay of the staff, more tables were added. Rather than block the wait staff, we moved to a much larger table.
Tom (boney) ate most of this...and took home the rest.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is next door and coincidently, they were holding an open house. Richard knows someone who works aboard the R/V Western Flyer and we were treated to a private behind the scene
Flyer is what's called a SWATH (Small Water plane, Twin Hull). SWATH
is well suited to the type of work Flyer does, deep ocean research. The
platform remains stable and allows for a comfortable ride during the research missions.
Our guide for the tour was the Chief Mate, Darrell Palmer. Something of an adventurer, he's headed out for a motorcycle tour of Egypt and the Sudan
First stop, the bridge. The first thing I notice is that there is no
traditional wheel. Anywhere. Everything is electronic.
For station keeping operations, keeping the ship within a few meter boundry,
they use this device. Using GPS and RADAR, it manouvers the ship using the
rudders (they operate independantly), screws and bow thrusters.
Usually, the bridge is manned by the Master or Captain and one other watch
Here's a view from the bridge looking onto the dock. I'm used to seeing more bow
A midships is a moon pool. This is where the ROV Tiburon gets launched.
This is the business end of the ROV
Tiburon can descend to 4,100 meters. Those little plastic containers up front are for samples. The funnel shape is a vacuum to capture small critters. It is "flown" by two pilots in hour long shifts. During a shift, the pilot "flys" the ROV and the co-pilot operates the on-board goodies. An hour into the shift, they trade places. Each will fly twice before being relieved.
Flyer also carries a series of "tool" sleds for performing other types of research.
In case you wondered where all this stuff comes from, they have a machine
shop with all kinds of CNC equipment. A small cabinet with a few of the goodies created in the shop.
It was a great tour and something that was totally unexpected.
Matt and I headed up highway 1 with a stop in Davenport at the Whale City Bakery and Cafe for a snack.
Then it was up to 92--which for some reason was backed up--so we back tracked 10 miles to 84 and enjoyed a sunset cruise up to Alice's.
Once again, thanks to everyone that came over to Phil's for lunch!