The Research Vessel Hero
at the Palmer pier during the 1968-69 summer. The Hero was built by Harvey F. Gamage Shipbuilder, Inc., of South Bristol, Maine. She was launched on 28 March 1968, and arrived at Palmer for the first time on Christmas Day that year. (NOAA photo link to original
The R/V Hero was conceived as part of the "Hero-Palmer Research System," as NSF once publicized it...as Palmer II was designed for Gamage Point, the pier and shore power was sized for Hero, and the laboratories and shop facilities were intended to support the vessel.
NSF originally announced plans for Hero to the science community in the August 1964 Antarctic Report; at that time the unnamed "trawler" was planned for initial operations in 1966-67 in conjunction with the proposed Palmer Station.
The R/V Hero had a length of 125 feet and a breadth of 30 feet 4 inches. She displaced 300 tons, with a draft of 14 feet. Her range under power of the 760 hp engine was 6,000 nautical miles at 10 knots. The sails were used for "silent running" to do wildlife-sensitive research.
Given the pending demise of the vessel, I present an incomplete project...a complete list of Hero cruises, with links to some of the cruise reports.
The Hero story...
- "Hero: A New Antarctic Research Ship" (Antarctic Journal, May/June 1968)
- The Launching of Hero
- Historical Photos from the 60's through the 80's
- Hero and Calypso at Deception Island 1972-73
- November 1979 cruise photos--scenery and leopard seals
- The 1980 Long Beach overhaul
- Hero brochure published by ITT/ANS in the early 1980's
- The last USARP cruise, Valparaiso to Port Hueneme, 1984
- The Hero in Reedsport, Oregon. 1986
- More on the Reedsport days...
- ...and the end of that era, with a disputed sale
- Hero needs a home, and finds one
- New port, new owner, 2000-2003
- A brief spring 2004 update
- Newport 2005...
- November 2005 Antarctic Sun article by Cara Sucher (PDF with photos)
- Fall 2006, Newport, OR...the Palmer Team 77 reunion --photos of the HERO in Newport...
- ...and people pictures.
- The future of the Hero...
- in Bay Center, Washington, 2010
- Still in Bay Center, 2012
- 2013 updates...
- Hero 2014...denouement?
- Hero 2015: Götterdämmerung?"
- Up for sale (?)
- March, 2017. Under Water
- Photos from my November 2018 visit
- The end is near November 2021, removal operations are pending...
- ...but delayed until spring 2022 when water conditions are more favorable
- Removal is scheduled for July...funds for transportation costs are needed