Category Archives: research

RRS Discovery

The Royal Research Ship Discovery put into BIO over the weekend. The research vessel is operated by the Natural Environment Research Council, or NERC. the ship is the Third Discovery, the first being 1901 built ship that Robert Falcon Scott used on his antarctic expeditions.

The ship is likely at BIO to complete some science that would have previously used the Hudson. BIO has chartered British ships in the past, with RRS James Cook calling on a couple of occasions.

This RRS Discovery was completed in 2013.

Novus at Work.

A few weeks ago when i was in Quebec, i found Novus at work off Point-aux-Pare.

Halifax Based Leeway Marine has owns the vessel, which was acquired to service a contract with the Coast Guard to replace the CCGS Fredrick G. Creed, which was removed from service and disposed of.

Novus, was delivered to Halifax on April 15 2021 by the General Cargo Ship Suomigracht. Novus was offloaded at Pier 9, and moved to COVE in Dartmouth. 

Novus can carry 12 passengers plus three crew, and can accommodate 2 shipping containers on deck, making it a perfect research vessel. Novus is 85′ long and 42′ wide, and can cruise at 15 knots. The vessel is quite distinctive, as it features a small waterplane area twin hull design, better known as SWATH. 

the ship spent this past winter undergoing a refit at AF Theriaut, and performs surveys of the river during the summer months.

SWATH was developed by a Nova Scotian Fredrick G. Creed in 1938. The design of the twin hull minimizes the area of hull at the water’s surface, reducing the effects of waves on the vessel, giving a very stable platform. Creed received a patent for the design in 1946. The first SWATH vessel was built in 1968.  

Research Vessel Atlantis

The Research Vessel Atlantis arrived this morning and tied up at BIO. The Vessel will likely be assisting with some Science missions that would normally be done by the now retired Hudson.

Built in 1998, The ship is owned by the US Navy, and is assigned to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The ship is one of 3, the others being operated by Scripps university and NOAA.

Atlantis is also configured to carry the Alvin Deep Submergence vessel that was used to explore the Titanic.

A Tour of the RRS James Cook

The Royal Research Ship James Cook tied up at Cove just before Christmas. The Ship is operated by the UK’s National Oceanography Center, and was conducting the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program of Newfoundland for DFO – Science work that would have been conducted by the Hudson normally.

the James Cook is due to sail at 10:00 this morning for Fort Lauderdale Florida. Yesterday, the folks at Cove offered me a tour of the ship, led by the Captain and 2nd Officer. Stuart Peddle with the Herald also attended, and produced this piece.

parallelgram winch, used for lowering instruments. the dooors lead t the wet lab.
rear deck
science space.
another science space.
bridge navigation Console
Dynamic Positioning station
Starboard side
engine controls
forward decks
bridge looking toward DP station
chart table.

RRS James Cook

The Royal Research Ship James Cook tied up at Cove yesterday.. The Ship is operated by the UK’s National Oceanography Center, and was conducting the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program of Newfoundland for DFO – Science work that would have been conducted by the Hudson normally.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer

The NOAA Research Vessel Okeanos Explorer arrived last week at COVE after completeting the first leg of its expedition Deep Connections 2019: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the United States and Canada. Leg 2 of the expedition starts August 26 and will include mapping and remotely operated vehicle exploration

Prior to being obtained by NOAA in 2004 and commissioned in 2008, the Okeanos Explorer operated as the U.S. Naval Ship Capable, a Stalwart-class ocean surveillance ship (T-AGOS). As a ocean surveillance ship, it collected acoustic data and looked for submarines.

the name was chose through a contest – In ancient Greek cosmology, Okeanos was the river/ocean that encircled the world. The ship is homeported in North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Find out more about the ship at

Polar Prince and Leeway Odyssey return from Northern Cable Survey

the Polar Prince returned to Halifax over the weekend and tied up at Pier 9. She departed in July, and was joined in Hudson Bay by the Leeway Odyssey. Both ships were conducting a seabed survey for the installation of and undersea cable to server several northern communities.

The plan  will lay undersea fiber optic cable from Chisasibi north to Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq, to have the network in operation by 2020.

the Leeway Odyssey returned to Halifax earlier in the week. Both ships are former Coast Guard Vessels, that have gone on have extended lives in the private sector. the Polar Prince is the only commercially owned icebreaker in Canada.

For More on the Arctic Fiber Network, See:

Nuvitik Fibre Networks

Tag your.. a shark?! @ocearch #NovaScotiaExpedition

Hilton the Shark has reached a certain amount of fame this summer (and last) as it plies the waters off Nova Scotia. A Great White, He was caught and tagged of Hilton Head, NC, leading to his name. this year, he has spent much of the summer in the waters off Nova Scotia, Venturing into Mahone Bay, and was last tracked off Glace Bay.

Ocearch, the folks who tagged him, and several other sharks are in town, before heading to Lunenburg and off on a shark tagging expedition in the waters off Nova Scotia.

Ocearch is a former Bering Sea crab boat, Arctic Eagle, that was retired, and then converted to be a mothership for a a sport fisherman. That guy fitted a large boat lift, and when the boat turned out to be too slow for his needs, it was purchased for research.

Boats are placed in the water with the picking hook, and the actual shark fishing is done with hand lines from the smaller faster boat. Once the shark is caught, a submersible platform on the former boat lift is lowered into the water, and the shark brought aboard. the lift is then raised out of the water, with the ships crab tanks being used as ballast tanks to keep the vessel properly trimmed.

with the shark now parked on the platform, water is pumped over the gills to allow it to breath, and a towel placed over its eyes. the shark is then tagged, and various samples are taken. after about 15 minutes, the science is done, and the shark is released to go swim away.

Sharks are caught with Hand Lines, so all the fishing gear is for landing Bait, or fresh fish for the crew.  The area forward is known as the Tackle bar, For reasons.

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