Scripps Institution of Oceanography has bid bon voyage to R/V Melville, a research vessel that has cruised the world’s oceans since 1969. Last month, the U.S. Navy turned over operations of the ship, now named BRP Gregorio Velasquez, to the Philippine Navy. Melville was the oldest active ship in the academic research fleet.
The vessel sailed past the Nimitz Marine Research Facility (across from the very end of Shelter Island) for the last time on April 27, leaving behind adventures like the first-ever observation of deep ocean volcanic eruptions and a role in the 1976 version of King Kong. The Melville was chosen to appear in the film because of its propulsion system, which allowed it to move sideways.
R/V Sally Ride, now under construction and expected to join the Scripps research fleet in the fall, will replace the Melville.