Owned by the Navy, Operated by Scripps

On July 1, operational control of R/V Sally Ride was transferred to Scripps Institution of Oceanography. A few signatures on a contract and the handing over of a few dozen keys marked the occasion. So much work has gone into getting the ship built. Fifteen years ago it was little more than a line item on a federal budget. As the … Read More

Ships carry boats

For anyone who’s ever wondered what the difference between a ship and a boat is, or gotten reprimanded for using the wrong term, here’s a tip for remembering it: ships carry boats. The R/V Sally Ride is a ship. Onboard are two boats, the work boat (also called the small boat) and the rescue boat. Today the Sally Ride’s work boat … Read More


The R/V Sally Ride can be out at sea for up to 40 days, so it has to be loaded with food and supplies to last the entire journey. Called ship’s stores, fresh food and other provisions are ordered in each port. The delivery is often announced over the loudspeaker and all hands are instructed to come help with the transfer. … Read More

Moved in

Room FD-14 has its very first occupant! I even had to remove the plastic from the mattress, pillows, and blankets. The sheets are so crisp that I accidentally brought two sets to my room without realizing it. I am excited to spend my first night aboard R/V Sally Ride, even if we’re still just tied up to the shipyard pier … Read More

Lab View

As of now, the laboratory space on the Sally Ride is bare-bones. The countertops are still wrapped to protect the surfaces, shelves and drawers lay empty. An area that will soon be covered with up to 15 computer monitors, showing readouts from every sensor onboard, is just another wall. This lab, and the “wet” lab next door, will house equipment and … Read More

It’s the Little Things

The focsle deck of R/V Sally Ride (one level up from the main deck) is home to the science party staterooms, where I will spend ten or so hours each day when I’m at sea. Generally, scientists work on the opposite watch from their roommate – twelve hours on, twelve hours off. That way you essentially have your own room, … Read More

First Impressions

  On June 18, 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. On June 27, 2016, I walked the gangway onto R/V Sally Ride for the first time. It’s a research vessel being built in the Dakota Creek Industries (DCI) shipyard in Anacortes, Washington, and will be Scripps’ newest addition to its research fleet. A swell of emotion … Read More