Dennis McGillicuddy

Senior Scientist
Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Tribute to the Men and Women of R/V Oceanus

It is with great respect and admiration that I pay tribute to the men and women who have so ably served on 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. Over the years I have come to a deep appreciation for the qualities that make R/V Oceanus such a wonderful environment in which to work. Of course the ship herself is a spectacularly capable vessel, equally at home performing nimble operations in coastal waters as she is a workhorse in the rough and tumble of the open ocean. I have sailed on her from the chilly waters of the Bay of Fundy to the deep blue tropical Atlantic and just about everywhere in between, and what strikes me most are three qualities of her officers and crew: (1) dedication to the mission, (2) commitment to excellence, and (3) personal sense of pride the results. I have no doubt in my mind that these three qualities had a material impact on the science that was accomplished.

It has been a privilege and an honor to sail on R/V Oceanus all these years with such an exceptional group of individuals. As a community of 31 people on a 177’ ship, we work together, live together, take our meals together… and we all share the same washer/dryer unit in the bow when it is time to do laundry. Teamwork is an essential ingredient to making this operation work, and every job is an important one. Each person depends on the well-being of all the others. In that kind of environment, it is only natural to become very attached to the people involved—and I have to say I am really going to miss the R/V Oceanus family. But I am an optimist at heart, and I don’t view this as a goodbye. The maritime community is small and closely-knit, and I look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.

Dennis McGillicuddy

17 November 2011