LENGTH: 414ft. (126m)
SHIPYARD: Lurssen/HDW, Germany
This well-traveled yacht belongs to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and author of “Idea Man,” a memoir about his life, startups and relationship with former business partner Bill Gates. Espen Øino designed the yacht’s exterior, while Seattle-based Jonathan Quinn Barnett created the initial interior design. Since leaving Microsoft in 1983, Allen devotes much of his time to philanthropy and his sports franchises but recently launched software company Xiant. Allen, an ocean advocate, made his state-of-the-art Canadian-built yellow submersible Pagoo and mothership Octopus available for a team of scientists and historians to study the effects of 60+-year-old atomic tests on the Marshall Islands’ atoll of Bikini. It was ground zero for what was known as Operation Crossroads (1946 and 1958). Pagoo and crew tested radiation levels in and around the wreck of the USS Saratoga, sunk during the Baker nuclear test, and searched other test sites for evidence of lasting underwater radiation. See the Discovery Sciences’ 2009 documentary “Bikini – Radioactive Paradise” for surprising information about the power of nature, mutant one-fin nurse sharks, cesium-saturated coconuts and glimpses of the technical areas of Octopus. In March, Octopus and Allen were in Guam to witness James Cameron’s record dive into the Marianna Trench and both are expected in London for the summer Olympics.
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