After a many thousand mile excursion down the east coast, past Cuba and down through the Panama Canal, then up the coast of Central America, Mexico and all of California, the R/V Oeanus arrived Tuesday afternoon in Newport. It tied up right behind the ship it is replacing, the Wecoma. It’s the new oceanographic research vessel for the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The R/V Oceanus and the R/V Wecoma are actually brother and sister ships, but the Oceanus has had some big bucks poured into her from various sources to alter it’s skyline and gear that adorns her decks.
Here is a description of what the R/V Oceanus is primed to do at sea as described on the home page of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts:
The research vessel (R/V) Oceanus is owned by the National Science Foundation and was operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for the past 36 years. Oceanus is a mid-sized research vessel designed for expeditions lasting two to four weeks.
It was delivered to Woods Hole in November 1975, and its first scientific voyage was made in April 1976. In 1994, the ship underwent a major mid-life refit, which included the construction of a new deck house and new pilot house, along with increases in laboratory space and accommodations for scientists. Oceanus accommodates a crew of 12 and a scientific party of 19 for up to 30 days at sea.
The ship was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates of Boston and constructed by Peterson Builders of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Its name is drawn from Greek mythology. The Titan Oceanus, father of the river gods and sea nymphs, was represented as a great stream of water encircling the Earth. Oceanus was believed to be the source of all bodies of water.
Outfitted with three winches and a crane, Oceanus is often used for deploying oceanographic buoys and moorings and for hydrographic surveys, though it is capable of all types of chemical, biological, and geological studies. Oceanus spent most of its time working in the North Atlantic, with occasional trips to the Mediterranean, South Atlantic, and Caribbean. The ship has been used extensively in recent years for studies of the Gulf Stream and the Deep Western Boundary Current, of climate change, and of harmful algal blooms (popularly called “red tides”).
Here’s some video that our Brad Taylor captured as he caught sight of the R/V Oceanus as it came across the Yaquina Bay Bar a little after noon:
[stream base=x:/www.newslincolncounty.com/videos/2012/2 flv=oceanus.360p.flv img=oceanus-ff.jpg hd=oceanus.720p.flv mp4=oceanus.iPhone.m4v embed=false share=false width=560 height=315 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]