Remembering Oceanus: R/V Oceanus Scrapbook

Click on the images in the gallery below to read memories and tributes from the people who worked on R/V Oceanus over the decades. If you have stories and photos from your time aboard Oceanus that you would like to share, contact Alex Dorsk.

Steve Bell

(Literally) Down to the Wire

Joan Bernhard

" felt like the R/V Oceanus was a second home..."

Amy Bower

"...I’ve sailed many times on Oceanus, having the good fortune of learning the ropes with help from four captains: Mike Palmieri, Paul Howland, Larry Bearse and Diego Mello. They all taught me something important."

Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer

"I remember water sampling in the Florida Straits where a school of mahi-mahi followed the bottles to the surface. As fast as the crew could bait hooks, they bit, were hauled aboard, filleted by the Captain and hustled into the kitchen. Less than an hour later they were dinner. The only way to have fresher fish was for them to swim directly into the galley..."

Liz Caporelli

Juggling Schedules

Rod Catanach

Images from Sentry's sea trials on Oceanus in 2008.

Penny Chisholm

"...the feeling of gratitude toward the Oceanus and her crew will stay with me always."

Cabell Davis

"The Oceanus was always "ship-shape" and fully functional, and the "can-do" attitude of the crew was remarkable."

Alex Dorsk

"It struck me then- it was a miracle that this tiny blue steel box had carried us across the Atlantic, and that we trusted it to carry us back. That this tiny ship had been sailing and doing science for longer than I had been alive. That the ship was alive because people maintained it, navigated it took care of it. That I was a part of this ship. A miracle."

David Dubois

Pictures from ECONOMEX and SWADE.

Tim Duda

Dye Studies on Oceanus.

Virginia Edgcomb

"The sampling was extremely challenging, and we couldn't have accomplished what we did without the tremendous efforts of the captain and crew of the Oceanus."

John Farrington

"As we arrived at the dock in Woods Hole, it was like a chaotic three ring circus. There were several ships berthed at the dock preparing to respond to the oil spill. News media, including TV crews, were on the WHOI dock. To my eyes, there was only enough dock- side space - maybe - to accommodate the Oceanus if you shoe horned her in exactly sideways. Despite this, somehow Captain Mike Palmieri eased her in on the first pass in an extraordinary feat of seamanship."

Chris German

"This remains, to my knowledge, the longest deep-ocean AUV tractor-pull on record."

Christopher Griner

Images of Oceanus throughout the years and on her final science mission.

Robb Hagg

Images from Oceanus's final science mission.

George Hampson

"...the art of the Captain's timing and the ship's seaworthiness.... a perfect match."

Karsten Edward Hartel

"Oceanus cruises alone contributed over 22 thousand cataloged lots, with 1290 species, in 186 families."

David Hebert

"I have really enjoyed on sailing on this class of vessel, which I have done on all three ships, and will regret its loss to the fleet."

Hartley Hoskins

The First Cruises: Delivering Oceanus to Woods Hole.

Jim Irish

"I can't say enough about the quality, dedication and hard work provided by the Oceanus crew in support of our research."

Anthony Kirincich

Images of Oceanus in St. Thomas.

Phoebe Lam

"I grew quite fond of the Oceanus in those many weeks..."

Mary Lardie Gaylord

"In September 2009 I was aboard the Oceanus for a 6 day cruise. It was supposed to be quick and relatively easy. A nor'easter beat us to our sampling sites and sat on us for four days!"

Jim Ledwell

"...Oceanus spent a third of 1992 supporting the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment, which launched both my career and the tracer release technique in open ocean studies."

Jon Leiby


Michael McCartney

"Paul and Mike exemplify what makes a ship like Oceanus a powerful asset for those of us at WHOI. Their long service, and that of many other crew, enables them to understand the basic missions of the diverse scientific teams that come aboard, and make the ship support the work well."

Dennis McGillicuddy

Tribute to the Men and Women of R/V Oceanus.
"From the moment I first walked over the gangway many years ago, I was struck by the “can do” attitude that pervades the atmosphere of this great ship."

Anna McIntyre-Wressnig

"...the waves were so high that they regularly reached above the porthole."

Richard "Moose" Morris

Images of Oceanus

Cindy Pilskaln

"...thanks to the the best ship and crew that I have worked with in the Gulf of Maine (which spans many years and many trips), we ducked and dodged big winds and seas as well as some intense lightening, recovered 3 moorings plus a large surface buoy, turned them around in the lee of an island, then snagged a really short weather window to drop them all back in successfully..."

Vasco R. Pires

"Bon voyage, Oceanus, you will be missed."

Richard Pittenger

Notes from RADM Dick Pittenger's remarks at the Oceanus retirement celebration, November, 2011.

Pam Polloni

Images from Oceanus's First Cruise, and journal entries from cruise OC-93.

Philip Richardson

"It was a pleasure to sail on Oceanus."

Terry Rioux

Diving from Oceanus.

Rudolf Scheltema

Tracking migrations of deep-sea larvae on Oceanus.

Ray Schmitt

Sister Ships Rendezvous at Sea during Fasinex

Emily & Keston Smith

" at first sight."

Dan Smith

Panoramic Images of Oceanus

Cindy Sellers

2005: The Summer of Hurricanes "During four consecutive legs the O-boat had to deal with 8 named storms in one way or another off Bermuda. I was on board for at least 3 of those storms..."

Erin Thomas

Drawing of Oceanus.

Geoff Thompson

"Without the help of the Officers and crew of the Oceanus this would have been a daunting task at best. However thanks to their expertise and encouragement, coupled with the contagious enthusiasm of the students and their hard work, we pulled off a very successful scientific cruise and recovered many valuable rock samples and data to guide subsequent Alvin dives."

Leah Trafford

"...the Oceanus is still the only ship in the fleet where you can get a Coke whenever you'd like. Go have a Coke."

George Tupper

"If there's one thing I can remember, it's that the crew would do anything to get the job done. There was never an issue of, "Oh, we can't do that", or "that's not the way we do things out here." As with all WHOI ships, there is a mutual respect shared between the scientists and the crew and it results in high-quality science."

Benjamin Van Mooy

"...I managed to only keep my excitement just below the surface as we left the WHOI dock..."

Ernest "Dutch" Wegman

Images of Oceanus

Carl Wirsen

"She was my favorite vessel. She was seaworthy and she rode well".

Scott Worrilow

Oceanus at sunrise.