What does Victory Van, moving and storage company in the D.C. area have to do with the Titanic, the famous British passenger liner? Recently, we’ve had quite a bit of interaction with Alvin, the submersible that takes credit for exploring Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Before we jump into the story of how we got our hands on it, let’s learn more about the Alvin Sphere.
In a bid to understand the extent of our known universe, mankind has had to rethink its limits and stretch for the stars; or rather in this case to the depths of the seas.
The Alvin Sphere represents one of the greatest achievements in oceanography as its successful commissioning helped man learn a great deal about the depths of the ocean. Alvin is a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Some interesting tidbits about the Alvin Sphere:
1. Some people think it is named after Alvin of Alvin & the Chipmunk fame but that’s not the true story. The Alvin Sphere is named after Allyn Vine, the engineer who created it and worked with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
2. Alvin’s first free dive occurred in mid-1964 at a depth of only 35 feet, but eventually it was capable of 13,000+ foot dives.
3. Alvin had its first female scientific observer in 1971. Her name was Ruth Turner and together they visited Martha’s Vineyard continental slope.
4. In 1985 WHOI discovered the wreck of the Titanic and in 1986 the Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Alvin explored the wreck .
National Geographic opted to make the Alvin Sphere, first of its ship class of deep submergence vehicle (DSV), available to the public at their exhibition, “Titanic: The Untold Story,” that is currently running at the Washington D.C. museum.
How did Alvin get from the bottom of the Atlantic to the Washington D.C. metro area?
In February of this year, a large flatbed trailer from Simi Valley in California, transported the vessel cross country to Sterling, VA. After its arrival, Victory Van used a dedicated large forklift to lift the massive structure into its warehouse for safe storage.
After sitting cozily in our warehouse for the better part of 3 months, the Alvin Sphere was ready to move to its new home. Preparations for the big move began on Sunday May 6, 2018. The caliber of people that were present to ensure its safe handling was commendable.
We had representatives from National Geographic, Woods Hole, the Navy and a full Victory Van crew present during the loading of the sphere onto the Victory Van flatbed trailer for transport to the main National Geographic building.
On Monday May 7, 2018, the Alvin Sphere traveled to National Geographic headquarters and arrived by 6 a.m. in Washington D.C.
During the entire process, the Alvin Sphere was guarded and monitored by both the Navy (it belongs to the Navy) and Woods Hole (they take care of it).
This could only have been possible through the great care and technical competence we offer our clients. Among a host of other moving companies, Victory Van consistently was chosen by National Geographic as the preferred mover to bring the Alvin Sphere to its new, temporary home.
The National Geographic exhibition opened on May 30 and will run through Jan. 6, 2019.
You can learn more about the exhibition here. It's very interesting and well-worth a visit!
Learn more about Victory Van by clicking the link below or calling us at (800) 572-3131.