The research ship Melville retired today. For five decades scientists aboard the ship helped to expand our understanding of the oceans, marine biology and planet Earth. I headed down to the Broadway Pier on San Diego’s Embarcadero this morning, because for one rare and final time the general public was invited to tour this legendary ship!
The R/V Melville, the oldest active ship in the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System fleet of marine research ships, was launched by the Navy in 1969. Operated by the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, the vessel has undertaken 391 research cruises and steamed a total of 1,547,080 nautical miles. A fact sheet distributed to today’s visitors also notes that the Melville logged over 90 equator crossings and has hosted around 7,116 scientists from 237 institutions. That amounts to a lot of knowledge gained!
The amazing oceanographic research ship was named after George Melville, an arctic explorer and Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. One interesting fact: the ship was used in the filming of the 1976 movie King Kong!
I took these photos as I enjoyed this fascinating final tour of the ship. I hope my captions accurately describe what I saw. (If they don’t, please leave a comment!) Some of the interior shots are a bit blurry. I apologize.
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