Trans-Atlantic Shakedown

Falkor Crew, Researchers Make Shakedown Cruise a Success

Kirk Klocke Schmidt Ocean Institute
Jul. 28 2012
R/V Falkor docked in Woods Hole, Mass. at 7 a.m. on July 28, 2012.
R/V Falkor docked in Woods Hole, Mass. at 7 a.m. on July 28, 2012.Kirk Klocke Schmidt Ocean Institute

The R/V Falkor, Schmidt Ocean Institute’s newly refitted research vessel, arrived safely at Woods Hole, Massachusetts at 7 a.m. July 28, 2012 after making its maiden transit across the Atlantic Ocean as a research vessel.  This transatlantic voyage was the first in a series of shakedown cruises intended to provide the crew with practical experience of working with each other and the Falkor’s equipment, as well as allow scientists to test the ship as an integrated research platform.

R/V Falkor crew and WHOI staff offload a winch that was used to operate the Video Plankton Recorder (VPRII).
R/V Falkor crew and WHOI staff offload a winch that was used to operate the Video Plankton Recorder (VPRII).Kirk Klocke Schmidt Ocean Insitute

Dr. Cabell Davis, WHOI, the cruise Chief Scientist aboard R/V Falkor, said he was pleased with the cruise outcomes, including the scientific observations, data, and samples he and other researchers collected during the Falkor’s first transatlantic cruise.

“I really appreciate being able to do science during the shakedown process,” Dr. Davis said. “The Falkor crew bent over backwards to help us get the science that we wanted.”

After a morning of cleaning and packing research equipment, Falkor crew members and visiting researchers met with the Schmidt Ocean Institute Director of Marine Operations Eric King, Deputy Director of Marine Engineering Pete Zerr, and Captain Bernd Buchner for the cruise debrief.  Mr. King accepted feedback on the ship and crew performance, a procedure he and Mr. Zerr employ after each cruise to further improve and fine tune the research vessel and its onboard systems and procedures.

“The Falkor and her crew exceeded our expectations in many ways, and we are confident that our vessel will emerge from the shakedown process as a globally capable research platform,” Mr. King said.


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