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Science ship returns to duty after midlife makeover

Thompson research ship
University of Washington oceanographer Ginger Armbrust boards the newly refurbished R/V Thomas G. Thompson at a university dock. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

The University of Washington’s biggest research ship is getting loaded up with scientists, supplies and an underwater robot after an extensive multimillion-dollar makeover that’s designed to add 25 more years to its current quarter-century of operation.

And the crew of the 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson can hardly wait to set sail.

“It’s been a long 18 months in the shipyard,” Brian Clampitt, one of the UW crew’s able-bodied seamen, told GeekWire today. “We’re looking forward to getting back to work.”

Clampitt and his mates never stopped working during the refit, most of which was done at Vigor Marine’s Seattle shipyard. But the crew’s duties on land can’t compare with getting back to the sea.

“We’re a bunch of sailors. We’re dying to get underway,” said Jenny Nomura, one of the crew’s marine technicians.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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