Last HERO cruise

heading for Port Hueneme
Tuesday [9 October 1984], the oceanographic ship Hero will weigh anchor from
her berth and return to the United States to end her days [translation of caption]

news from South America

Jim "Mort" Mortier was the radio officer on the R/V Hero for the last USARP cruise from Ushuaia to Port Hueneme, and he sent these photos. the pennant, and this newspaper article. The above photo was enlarged from the 8 October 1984 article in La Estrella, the Valparaiso, Chile newspaper (left). The translation of the headline is "A Chilean was the "mother" of the crew of the oceanographic ship. The Hero returns to the United States, where she will end her service." The article discusses a female Chilean scientist on board. If your Espaņol is better than mine, you can read the story. For the photos below, I'll use Mort's captions.

kick the bucket

"Here is a shot up the main mast. The orange bucket on the left is for a watchstander (ice, wildlife, etc.). When I was up there taking these photos, the First Mate (Wade Church, from Hudson, Wisconsin) asked me how I got up there. I told him that I climbed the ratlines. He replied, 'I hope you dumb... don't fall coming down cause those ratlines are rotten as s... If you fall on my watch I'll tell them you fell over the side and toss your busted carcass over myself.' I slid down the forestay instead."


"Looking fore..."

aft view

"...and aft from said bucket."


"Here's one from the bridge overlooking the foc'sle."

those orange sails

"And one last photo facing for'd with the main, jib and stay sails set."

Port Hueneme base news article about the HERO arrival

Here is an article which appeared in the Port Hueneme base newspaper a day or two after arrival. This is not from Mort, but from John Fazio who was the chief engineer on that last cruise with Mort.

[Mort was scheduled to winter at Pole in 1984 as a comms tech but was injured in a
motorcycle accident in Port Hueneme a week before his scheduled deployment date.]
there is one of these at Palmer

Next...the Hero heads for the Oregon Coast....