Or perhaps habemus Orcinus orca would be more appropriate. I give you the Ambulocetus:
With the invaluable assistance of corp mates and the market gods, I was able to complete the training for and compile the isk necessary to pilot an Orca. I think the Orca is the first ship in Eve that I actually had the name for before I had decided to train for it let alone purchase it. With diligence and persistence, I was able to generate the 500 million+ isk for the ship, the skills and fittings within the time it took me to train for it and give it to myself on my birthday. Considering not long ago, I had not seen 100 million isk in the game, getting over the 1/2 billion mark in short order is a bit of a personal milestone.
In an odd twist of fate, it turns out that I ended up purchasing the beast from one of my most regular buyers of copious quantities of minerals. Talk about reprocessing. At least I know where all those minerals are going now… And in a story I’m sure will be retold elsewhere, it was the second ship I purchased from the same player this weekend.
I still have a few days to get the skills necessary to use the mining foreman gang assist modules, but everything else is online and fitted out. Fully rigged, it can haul 77,879 m3 of cargo (at the moment), has 40,000 m3 of corp hangar and a 400k m3 ship maintenance bay.
With a top speed of only 59 m/s at the moment, its wont even win a drag race with Wil’s Charon freighter, though I think its probably more agile. Or at least I want to think so.
But wait, there’s more:
250% bonus to tractor beam range
100% bonus to tractor beam velocity
500% bonus to survey scanner range
99% reduction in CPU need for Gang Link modules
Can use 3 gang link modules simultaneously.
Industrial Command Ship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to cargo capacity per level
3% bonus to effectiveness of mining foreman gang links per level
What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in utility. Simply put, it allows more miners to put more beams on more rocks for a longer duration. The Orca is literally the hub of small mining ops.
Just for a test drive, we ended up with sort of an ad hoc mining op. While I was mining on one account and manning the Orca on the other, Wilhelm stopped by in his salver to survey the situation and park in the ship bay. Eventually, he came back with his hauler and took the ore from the corp hangar back to base. Later, Gaff came by with his two Hulks and we tore it up. Hulks keep eating, Orca tractors the cans in. All without moving.
When Wil had to go AFK, I eventually had to haul to base with the Orca, but carrying 4+ jet cans a trip meant relatively few trips which were not as painful as I might have imagined. Not sure I would want to use it to ferry loads out of a solar system, but very workable.
I can see that for our small corp, a configuration of 4 miners, the Orca pilot, and a part time hauler/part time miner would probably be optimal. With the ship maintenance bay, the Orca could ferry the extra mining ship while the other pilot flew the hauler to the mining site.
So far, its pure awesomeness. Possibilities abound.