It was a beautiful day for a shakedown cruise off the Oregon coast. For a crew based at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, March 7, 2012, was also a good day to get to know their new ship, the research vessel (R/V) Oceanus.
Scientists and crew took Oceanus, the sister ship to OSU’s R/V Wecoma, under the Yaquina River Bridge and past the jetty into the Pacific where they practiced deploying water and sediment samplers and launched Jane, an autonomous underwater glider.
Since 1975, Wecoma has been OSU’s marine science work- horse on research expeditions from the Arctic to the Antarctic. A recent evaluation of the two vessels revealed a need for expensive repairs to Wecoma, which was decommissioned after Oceanus’ arrival from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences will operate Oceanus for its owner, the National Science Foundation. OSU also operates the 54-foot Elakha and 85-foot Pacific Storm for near-shore research.