Capt. Mello Salutes R/V Oceanus


Diego Mello served as Master of R/V Oceanus from September 2008 to November 2011, working his way up from Second Mate. On November 18, 2011, on the occasion of Oceanus' retirement and surrounded by crew and friends, Capt. Mello saluted the ship on which he served for more than 15 years.

Good evening all.

I promised myself that I would not give a speech during this day because it has been an emotional time for me and, I’m sure, for many of you in attendance. But tonight folks, it’s about Oceanus and all that served proudly aboard her.

What would the Good Ship Oceanus say if she could speak? Uh oh. I see some of you running for cover. No worries. She has sworn to secrecy. You are safe.

She would say, “Yes, shipmates, 36 years went by in the blink of an eye.”

“Heck,” she chuckles, “I have passed more sea buoys than most of you have passed telephone poles during my service.”

She would boast about the crews that guided her safely through the heaviest of seas and the foggiest of nights for they are of the very best that Mother Nature could challenge. She would also add with a grin, “And I knew that the fog signal was rather annoying to Captain Mello—that was the idea”.

She would recall the faces of the first timers at sea. Yep, granted some green in color, but never the less totally dedicated to their valuable research.

To the seasoned scientist “I just loved the excitement and anticipation that you brought along. As for the scientific equipment, well, let’s just say that on occasion you put my deck space to the task.”

She would say, “It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve all the scientist and technicians that believed in her and the crew to get the job done right and return all home safely.”

She would say to all the folks at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “I salute you for your unwavering support. We certainly could not have done it without all of you.”

She would say to the spouses and families of both crew and science, “Thank you for your understanding of the need for the important research and their time away from you. And I know there were times that you asked the question “so when are you leaving again?’”

Oh, but I have so many more thoughts to share, but I’m sad to say that time is short.

I do want to say something special to all those, both past and present, that have served on my decks over the years. Would you please raise your hands?

I want to thank each of you from the top of my mast to my keel for your devotion to science and especially the crew for taking such good care of me over the years. I will miss you all greatly.

With affection,

The little ship that could, OCEANUS

Ladies and Gentleman, it is time for a toast. Please raise your glasses—Oh wait, Oceanus has requested that you kindly give her a shot of the oiliest oil you got.

Thank you all, and good night.