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The research vessel Atlantis waits at the dock in Portage Bay at the School of Oceanography on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

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On Sunday, a pilot joined Atlantis for the trip from the Ballard locks through the Lake Washington Ship Canal before his pilot boat picked him up near the Olympic Peninsula. Pilots act as guides to large vessels like ours. They know the tides, currents, and any rocks or hidden undersea objects that might interfere with our ship’s safe departure.

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