Life After Windbird, Day 52: Whirlwind Tour of Woods Hole
Date: Monday, October 3, 2016
Weather: Cooler, Overcast with Mist; High 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA
Today as the finale of their visit, I took my visiting nieces and nephews on a whirlwind tour of Woods Hole. One nephew, Rex, had to leave early, but the others didn’t have to leave here until 3 pm. So we decided to use our time to see Woods Hole. I arranged for Jed to give us a tour of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI’s) dock behind the Smith Building. This is where the research vessels tie up when they are in port and it is where all sorts of scientific equipment is located. Before the tour with Jed, we visited the WHOI Exhibition Center where we watched a video of white shark attacks on a Remus submersible research unit, walked through the Titanic exhibit, watched the movie about what Alvin finds when it descends to the ocean floor, and played in the mock-up of Alvin. Many of you are probably asking, “What is Alvin?” It is a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the US Navy and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic. It is probably the most well-known manned submersible in the world. I don’t really know how many of these exist, but it is not many. Alvin was first commissioned in the 1960’s. I think it has been updated two or three times and the building and updates happen in the Smith Building in Woods Hole. Originally it could hold only three people, but the newest one launched last year can hold three pilots and two observers. It takes about five hours to descend to the depths and another five hours to ascend. If you figure three or four hours are spent exploring, it means that you are in very close quarters for twelve to fifteen hours. Tommy, Janet, and Jennifer got into the mock-up capsule, but there was no way they could comprehend how people could stay in that confined area for that many hours!
After our tour, Jed and Heather joined us for lunch at the Captain Kidd.
And then it was time for the gang to head to Boston to catch their flights home. It was a wild weekend with late night ‘discussions’. I might be a little tired, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the world. I just love the photo shown here of all of us on the ferry to Charlestown yesterday. I think it is obvious that we were having a great time.
I have been so blessed to have had so many family members here with me for the past three weeks. Tomorrow I head to Concord, New Hampshire, for New Hampshire Public Radio’s Celebration of Life for Mark. To get ready for that, I went over to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s at 5 o’clock to borrow something to wear. Jane had picked out just the right choices, so selecting the ‘just right’ outfit was quick and easy—much easier than shopping in a store. That gave us time to have a glass of wine and visit—much better than shopping in a store! Bruce and Jane are headed to Hawaii for three weeks, so I won’t see them again until November.
I think things are going to get quiet around here when I return from New Hampshire. Heather, Jed, and kids are headed to Maine for the Columbus Day Weekend, so I’ll be all alone for the first time in the past three weeks. But I think that is a good thing. I need to just sit and think about next steps. Who knows what crazy scheme I’ll come up with.