Who knew the last lines of Soundgarden’s King Animal would be so prophetic? “I just keep on pulling, gotta row,” Chris Cornell sings on “Rowing”, the closing track of the band’s 2012 reunion album. Well, Mr. Cornell, no need to grab an oar, as there’s now a fully functional research vessel at your disposal. Well, not really, but you’re no doubt a welcomed guest.
Some clever scientists out of King County, Washington, which is part of the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue metropolitan statistical area, took it upon themselves to name their new research vessel The SoundGuardian. The ship replaces the Liberty, a far more generic name and equally generic vessel that they’ve used since 1977 to monitor the Puget Sound.
On Wednesday, the silver, industrial-looking ship set sail for the first time, and joining the crew were Soundgarden members Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil. Sadly, Cornell and Ben Shepherd were unable to make the voyage, but as you can see in the video below, their absence was hardly a burden in their hands. Let’s just hope no one ever plays “Let Me Drown” on board.
Here are some more snapshots from the event: