Ray Schmitt

Senior Scientist
Physical Oceanography
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Back in 1986 during the multi-ship Fasinex project, Bob Weller was Chief Scientist of the Oceanus and I was Chief Scientist of the Endeavor.   We had to rendezvous to transfer some gear, but the seas were too rough for small boat operations.  The Oceanus captain decided to pass close by our stern as we lay dead in the water to attempt to throw a heaving line over, so we could pull the small box of repair parts over to Endeavor.  I remember the captain called over and asked us to pull in our stern A-frame!  The Endeavor captain had his hand on the throttle ready to pull ahead if collision seemed immanent.  As Oceanus made its approach I took the attached shot, which makes it look like a speed boat leaping out of the water.  If you look closely you can see the seaman standing next to the stack with the coiled heaving line.  The Oceanus did not actually get that close to the Endeavor stern and the heaving line fell short and so we ended up just retrieving a floating box that they dropped in the water.

The dramatic shot was used by graphics for a few years, perhaps in Oceanus or an annual report, and a copy hung in the Oceanus galley.