Well, okay. Above is another NOAA photo of the Hero at Palmer Station during her first season of operation, 1968-69. Now in March 2017, another trip back here is not in the offing. Anyway, as of late spring 2004 the ship was still at Port Dock 5 in Newport...and since this was not exactly the tourist season on the Oregon Coast, she was still shuttered and winterized.
Here is a closer look...another NOAA photo
As for the long term, I leave you with a quote from a fellow HERO fan who is no longer with us: "...just like the FRAM, she should still be afloat and sound a hundred years from now." When he said this (and when I originally wrote this here) more than 10 years ago, I still had hope that he would be correct.