At 8:00 Am this morning the NOAA Ship Fairweather crossed the Yaquina Bay bar, and by 8:30 was tied up at the new NOAA MOCP facility. The Fairweather was accompanied into Newport by the tug Coos Bay, from Coos Bay Towboats.
The Fairweather is a hydrographic survey vessel, tasked with collecting soundings for constructing and updating navigation charts. She was built and launched in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1967, and commissioned in 1968. She is home-ported in Ketchikan, Alaska, and works mostly on surveys of harbors, inlets, and inshore waters in Alaska. The Fairweather is 231 feet long, with a beam of 42 feet, 15.5 foot draft, and displaces 1591 tons. She can cruise at 12kt, with a range of 6000 nautical miles. She carries a complement of 8 officers, 4 engineers, a crew of 23, and up to 23 scientists and technicians.
The Fairweather carries four aluminum-hulled survey launches and two rigid-hulled inflatable boats. These can be used for surveys in inside waters too shallow for the ship itself.
The new NOAA MOCP in Newport supervises several research vessels in addition to the 4 that are based here, but it has not been clear whether and how often these others would visit Newport. Hopefully this will be the first of many such visits.