so, yesterday i got an email from some of the big boys at the dauphin island sea lab with an update on the status of the lab post-katrina. there was minimal damage compared to other parts of the island, and most of the boats were ok (even though i think they'll have to rebuild the dock again)... but they moved the two large boats (the ancient r.v. verrill from the woods hole oceanographic institute and the brand new conoco-phillips funded r.v. wilson) up the pascagoula river. as in mississippi. so, i'm just wondering why they didn't move them up the mobile river. they knew that the storm was going to hit to our west, so the mobile river couldn't have been any worse, right? anyway, all of the small boats at the lab are fine. the wilson is fine. but as of yesterday they could not find the verrill. that is a classic sea lab boat. hell, it was classic when it was at woods hole. the thing is nearly 40 years old, but it's a hell of a research vessel. i have many fond memories of the verrill. it was the first large boat i ever experienced. sure, it moves slower than a snail, but it would be a shame to lose it. so, dr. dindo said he was going out yesterday to look for the verrill, which sounds funny in itself. you know, having to go out and search for a pretty big boat when the smaller r.v. wilson stayed put.
anyway, dindo sent another update email this morning saying that they found the verrill, still attached to its tugboat, about 80 feet into a marsh near the pascagoula river. this is not a small boat by any means. it's nearly twice the size of our new and already beloved r.v. wilson. it amazes me that it got moved when it was up the river, supposedly far enough to be safe from katrina's surge. there is no word on how the verrill fared, and it might not be functional, but at least they found it.
3 days ago