Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
I have sailed on the R/V Oceanus twelve times, five as Chief Scientist, dating back to 1991.
The first cruise was the maiden test of our Video Plankton Recorder, an underwater video microscope co-developed at WHOI by Scott Gallager and myself. The cruise departed on time despite Hurricane Bob hitting the cape a few days prior to our departure. The crew as exemplary, and the data from the cruise resulted in a Science paper. I had several cruises on Oceanus over the next 15 years, all sampling with the VPR. In 2002, we successfully tested the new 10-knot VPRII. I recently sailed as Chief Scientist on the Oceanus to survey the entire Gulf of Mexico shelf/slope region from Tampa to Galveston, towing the VPRII for a record 3048 nautical miles of along track survey. Captain Mello and the crew were their exemplary best throughout the cruise and made this sampling possible.
On every cruise on Oceanus, the Captains (Howland, Bearse, and Mello) and crews were outstanding and exhibited the highest standards of seamanship and scientific support. For her size, because of her deep draft, the ship can sample in sea states that other mid-sized research vessels cannot. The Oceanus was always "ship-shape" and fully functional, and the "can-do" attitude of the crew was remarkable. I've sailed on over 25 different research vessels and in my opinion the R/V Oceanus is the best of the lot. Many thanks to Oceanus for all her wonderful years of service, she will be sorely missed.