Research vessel returns home after 6 year deployment

POINT LOMA, Calif. – The Roger Revelle, a Scripps research vessel is home after a 6-year-long deployment.

“This is a big day for us,” said Bruce Applegate, associate Director of Scripps Institute of Oceanography.   Applegate heads the ship operations and Marine technical support unit at Scripps.

The Revelle is named after the founder and director of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  Revelle, came up with the idea of convincing the Navy to turn over old vessels to be used for research.  The Revelle left the Nimitz Marine Terminal December 1, 2006.  The ship has since been sailing the high seas, exploring just about all corners of the Earth.

“Across the pacific, across the Atlantic, and across the south Atlantic,” said Captain Tom Desjardins.  “We’ve been to lots of places in the last six years.”

The Revelle is the flagship of the four Scripps research vessels.

“We try to spend 300 days at sea every year accomplishing research,” said Applegate.

Accomplishments made by scientists like Dr. Ken Melville.

“When we got on the vessel we headed north for four days to the equator,” said Melville.

Melville is a professor of physical oceanography.  He and his team were on board the Revelle for three weeks.  Using drones – they’ve been studying the interaction between ocean and atmosphere.

“This is one of the three aircraft,” said Cyrus Roohi, he piloted the drones.  “For this specific mission we were flying just above the sea.  We flew every day possible we flew long missions, we tried to give them data for the full 24 hour cycle.”

The data helped Melville’s team better understand theories of how the atmosphere generates waves and currents and even superstorms, like Sandy.

“It means we can help make the coastal regions safer and make people safer,” explained Dr. Melville.

“Ships like Roger Revelle allow us to project ourselves out where the action’s really happening,” said Applegate.

Now, the action is now going to stay dockside for a while.  After 338,000 nautical miles, more than 1900 days at sea and 86 different research expeditions; there is some work to be done.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time and effort a good bit of money refurbishing the ship, bringing it back into shape,” said Applegate.

The ship leaves for her next voyage March 2013.