a counteruniformitariansism weblog


I have a thing for old boats, so am going to share a story from one of our small local newspapers about a small ship called the Hero. Written by Allie Friese
Resting serenely atop the Bay Center waters
is the historic
ship "Hero". The owner, who lives in Bay Center, asked to
remain annonymous. The Hero is 125 feet long with a 30
foot beam and consists mainly of oak planking. It was a
vessle that was used for research in Antarctica from
1968 until 1984

Yet another piece of history has found a home in our area.
Now docked in the serene waters of Bay Center is the ship named "Hero", a vessel that was used in research in Antarctica from 1968 until 1984. Commanded by the United States Antarctic Research Program (USARP), the Hero was imperative to the study and further examination of the Antarctic mainland.
Naval architects Potter & M Arther Inc, of Boston, Mass designed the Hero specifically for Southern seas exploration. The plans were then sent to South Bristol, maine where harvey Gamage built the ship.
The owner told the Herald Saturday night that he wasn't sure what kind of plans were in store for the historic boat.
"Doesn't it just look beautiful sitting there on the water", the owner said while the sun glistened on the deck. "It went on a lot of voyages near the North Pole.
"A lot of people want to go for a tour on it" the owner said. "It's a remarkable, historic ship. It's one of a kind."
It was designed specifically for gliding silently through the seas. The hull is made mainly of oak, but covered by South American hardwood to protect the ship against the scraping of ice. The masts and interior are both built of Oregon fir.
It is powered by two diesel engines of 380 horsepower each capable of propelling the boat tup to 12 knots. Once again, built for a noiseless journey, it is equipped with sails that can generate a speed of up to 8 knots. The silence creaded by the wooden exterior and the use of sailes allowed the ship to conduct accurate bio-acoustic studies. The ship typically carried a crew of 6 to 8 scientists and 12 deck/engineroom hands.
When the Hero was in active service, it's home dock was at Palmer Station in Antarctica. Palmer Station is named after Nathaniel Palmer, the American explorer and ship designer credited with the first sighting of Antarc6tica in 1820. The ship Palmer navigated through the dangerous waters was also named the Hero and is our Hero's namesake.
The vessels first docking at Palmer Station was on December 25, 1968 under the direction of Captain Sidney G. Hartshome. In 1972 Pieter Lenie was named the new captain until the Hero's retirement in 1984.
Between November and April each year, the two laboratories located onboard provided the USARP with new information about the biology, onshore geology, and atmospheric and physical oceanography of the Antarctic seas and mainland. During the Winter months the ship docked in South America and after 16 years of service the Hero retired due to dry rot in the timbers.

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