Boat Operator Training:
Today we continued our training, but this time on a Zodiac. The first part of the training was done ashore. We learned that our Zodiac has a 60 horsepower Yamaha engine. Zodiacs also consist of multiple air chambers. To inflate a Zodiac, there is no need to inflate individual chambers - one can actually connect all the chambers easily by simply turning the valves on the chambers themselves. Just don’t forget to turn the valves back to “Navigate”. If one chamber accidentally deflates (or gets damaged), the others will remain inflated.
We learned a lot today. If you ever take a boat out (photos are in this order also):
- Always bring an Automatic Identification System (AIS) with you (it’s the orange device on a pole, next to Kelly). This tells the station where you are at all times.
- Learn how to navigate from the boating map (and bring two GPS devices with you).
- Avoid the shoals (i.e., the very shallow areas - there are hilly peaks below the water surface!). These come up suddenly and could damage the boat.
- Pin a boat properly, and tie it up well. Pinning means that the nose of the boat pushes up against land, so people can leave the front of the boat safely.
Everyone had a turn in driving the Zodiac, pinning it against rocks, anchoring (see left photo below) and returning the Zodiac (see right photo below). Thank you, Zee for taking the photo of me returning the Zodiac to the trailer.
We even had a spectator! You can even see Palmer Station behind this beautiful leopard seal, so we had not ventured too far out. It was a long, but productive day! Thank you again, Mike Burns, for teaching us how to use the boats. Now we can really science!