Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sub Teachers

This morning we toured the submersible hanger here at Harbor Branch. Like most things here, it was pretty amazing.

The picture below was taken from inside the Sealink 1 research submersible. There was just enough room to turn from one side to the other in the tiny compartment, but I managed to turn around and shoot back at my fellow teachers through the 6 inch thick acrylic window.

I've taken over 300 pictures so far this week, but not one with me in it until the sub tour.

How'd you like to have this to drive to work each day?
We had the main sub pilot talk to us about the sub's capabilities and features. Like most high tech tools used around salt water, it takes tons of "routine" maintenance on land to keep these amazing craft working safely underwater.
You can rent this and the crew for $12,000 per day, but you need to budget for the sub tender ship too, which I believe went for $21,000 per day.
Save your pennies.

I like that this sub dates from 1975 ... my junior year in High School, and is still going strong.

A pilot and scientist ride in this acrylic pressure sphere. There's a good chance that if you've watched some amazing abyssal creature on some nature special, it was photographed from this craft.

Here's the manipulator claw attached to the sub. There's also a vacuum slurp gun attachment, trapjars, and a clamshell type grabber. You can even attach a speargun device to shoot fish tags into passing pisces.

This is what a sub window looks like outside the craft. It's got that wedge shape so that water pressure actually seats it more tightly in the window frame.

Tomorrow, we're going seining in the Indian River. Seining won't be anything new for me, but the neighborhood will be different, and frankly I never get tired of tossing, dragging, or pulling a net in water. We're just catching and releasing tomorrow, but I will have the camera with me as usual so I can share what we catch.
My problem is I'm getting a backlog of pics, so the Harbor Branch posting may go on for awhile after the experience is over.
Don't fret birders, I'm slipping out after class each day to explore and I have some pretty sweet bird shots to share soon too.
Sweet ... that is ... if you like wood storks feeding and sandhill cranes with chicks.


CrackerNation said...

Looks like loads of fun!! Enjoy.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

The dreaded "backlog" of photos: I'm in the same boat. I can't keep up with myself!

Jason R said...

There is a threat to mothball these submersibles to sell the support vessel, the R/V Seward Johnson. It's possible they might not see the deep sea again anytime soon.

There is a Web site set up to save the subs here:

Ericka said...

neat. i'd have a hard time not trying to take it apart - it's the engineer in me. i'm always convinced that i can put it back together again...

glad you're having a good time!

Dani said...

I'm so jealous! In a good way. :)

Storks and still my heart!

Pablo said...


Florida Beach Basics said...

you can always do a series of slideshows. glad we've got good weather for you. enjoy your stay on the east coast. marge

TROLL Y2K said...

1975 and still paying big dividends is uber-impressive. You're going to wind up with a week's worth of photo-enhanced lessons for the yutes next School year.

Rurality said...

Cool! I didn't know that about the windows.

robin andrea said...

You really do know how to have fun. Very cool stuff.

threecollie said...

Happy day! Birds and fish and amazing machines...looking forward to seeing all your adventures!

kathy a. said...

this is like the Ultimate Vacation for you! interesting stuff. the research subs are nothing like navy subs, i can say that much -- windows, for one thing. it probably doesn't smell as bad, either.

SophieMae said...

Gee, what a hard life. Do I see ONE other man in that picture?

Way cool sub stuff! Are you gonna get to go down under?

Floridacracker said...

Work,work,work! :)

I guess it's better than the alternative!

So we were told! Thanks for that link, I will add it to the sidebar!

You engineers amaze me. This thing has more parts than a blue crab.

One of those sandhills let me get way too close! Soon come.

I have been fascinated all week long!

I know, but I feel an urge to comment on every picture I post!

I thought so too. Of course it's been updated through the years, but research submersibles tend to have long lives. I think Alvin is still working too.

I think William Beebe came up with that design.

This place is waaaay cool.

It's Friday morning as I write this and I intend to adventure my way all the way home.

Kathy A,
Navy subs stink? I've never been on one.

One of the benefits of being a male teacher is being surrounded by intelligent women every day. It's still mostly a ladies' profession.
No, at 12k dollars a day, we just got to look!