We fondly remember the 25 years the R/V Moana Wave diligently served the ocean sciences community. The 65 m Moana Wave, or simply "Wave" as she is affectionately called by those who sailed aboard her, was built in 1973 at Halter Marine Corporation in New Orleans for the U.S. Navy and was destined for oceanographic research with the University of Hawaiʻi. Her design was for multi-disciplinary and had a 14,000 mile range and 60 day endurance that allowed her to conduct a broad range of scientific missions.
During her life-time, the Wave supported diverse research missions throughout the Pacific basin from Korea to Antarctica and numerous exotic ports in between. Her research mission and support capabilities were fully tested over one especially busy 2-year period from 1987 to 1988, during which time the Wave logged nearly 100,000 nautical miles and spent 633 days at sea. Not a single operating day was lost for repair or maintenance, which is an outstanding service record by any measure. The end of this demanding 2-year period coincided with the start of the Hawaiʻi Ocean Time-series (HOT) project with its inaugural cruise in October 1988.
Over the next decade, the R/V Moana Wave went on to support a majority of the physical-biogeochemical expeditions to Station ALOHA (75 of 105 cruises from Oct 1988 to May 1999), earning the well-deserved reputation as the HOT program flagship. Rightfully, her final sea voyage was to Station ALOHA on 28 May 1999 and was then celebrated when she returned home to the Marine Center for the last time. As for HOT, its field programs continue with the R/V Kilo Moana and until recently, the R/V Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa (KOK).
Throughout her life, the Wave was a user-friendly ship with a cheerful and competent crew. Aloha, Wave, and mahalo nui loa for a job well done.