The oceanographic research vessel Oceanographer (R 101) sailing off Seattle circa 1974. The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey ship Oceanographer (OSS O1) was in service with USC&GS from 1966 to 1970 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminisration from 1970 to 1996.
NOAA Ship Oceanographer was built in Jacksonville, Florida, by Aerojet General Shipyards. Commissioned in July 1966, the ship traveled throughout the world’s oceans studying all aspects of oceanography.
Oceanographer transited from the east coast to the west coast of the United States (north Atlantic Ocean), Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean making many goodwill stops along the way. Once circumnavigation was completed, the ship returned to the Atlantic Ocean in 1969.
Some of Oceanographer’s notable studies included the Barbados Oceanographic and Meteorological Experiment—a large-scale project that involved meteorological data collection and interaction between ships, buoys, aircrafts, radiosonde balloons, and satellites. The ship also participated in the Deep Ocean Mining Environmental Study by conducting environmental base-line studies.
Oceanographer was the first U.S. government ship to be allowed into port at the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1980 since the Communist revolution in 1948. The ship was decommissioned in 1996.