You Can Now Tour a Full-on Ocean Research Vessel via Google Streetview

Friday, 06 September 2013
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I remember when we were kids on a family vacation in Nova Scotia once we found ourselves wandering the harbour docks at night (to this day I don't know why since it seems like a really sketchy activity). Well, we were walking by a large freighter that were loading provisions on board and I have no idea how, but we were invited by one of the crew members onboard for a tour of the ship. I wouldn't be surprised if my father started yelling from the deck asking for one as he was that kind of guy.

So next thing you know we are getting the full tour. We visited the galley, bridge and even got to meet the captain who was really excited to meet us and show us around. For us it was easily the best part of our vacation meanwhile my mother was terrified the whole time and was convinced that we were going to get kidnapped.

Anyways, ever since that day I have loved big ships. I love everything about them and fascinated by their mysterious inner workings. I mean, who really knows where all the pipes that you see actually go? Nobody knows, that's who.

So you can imagine my excitement when Google announced that they have rolled out a Google Streetview tour of the Schmidt Ocean Institute's new 272-foot research vessel, Falkor.

The Bridge of the Falkor ship.

The tour is awesome. You can wander through all nine levels starting with the engine room and all the way up to the crow's nest (do they call it that on a research vessel?).

You view the street view feature here and by dragging the street view icon over the ship or click here for the direct link to the engine room.

Down in the the Falkor engine room.

You might be wondering why this boat in particular has received the full Google tour treatment. Well, the Schmidt Ocean Institute was founded by Dr. Erik Schmidt who is both the Chief Executive at Google and quite the philanthropist. gcaptain.com has the full backstory.

SOI bought the vessel from the German government in 2009 and recently completed an extensive three year, $94 million conversion of the ship from a fishery protection vessel to the high-tech research vessel it is today.

"Falkor's biggest goal is to help change the public conversation about ocean health," said Ms. Schmidt at the Exploratorium, "We're living on a planet where we really don't even know most of what's here. So, we would like to say it's time that we did understand."

Following her San Francisco debut, Falkor left the City by the Bay for British Columbia on two expeditions in Canadian and U.S. waters, before making her way southwest for several months conducting oceanographic research in the Central and Western Pacific.

More info: gcaptain.com
Falkor photo credit: schmidtocean.org

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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