Aerial view of Lone Ranger among the patches of Sargussum weed.
Image credit: KAI Institute
Lone Ranger and Sargassum aerial view
Schmidt Ocean Institute operated Lone Ranger between 2010 and 2012 in support of a series of scientific cruises in the Atlantic Ocean.
Lone Ranger was originally constructed as an ocean tug Simson in Germany in 1973. Following two decades of industrial and commercial service, Lone Ranger was refitted in Malta for global expedition yacht operations. With the cruising range approaching 30,000 nautical miles, Lone Ranger is capable of travelling around the globe without refueling or reprovisioning. Indeed, between 1994 and 2009, Lone Ranger circumnavigated the globe several times including visits to both Arctic and Antarctic regions.
In 2009, Schmidt Ocean Institute received Lone Ranger as a donation and reconfigured parts of the vessel to support ocean research operations. Since February 2012, Lone Ranger supported four research cruises in the Atlantic. After her last research expedition in the Sargasso Sea, the Lone Ranger begins a new chapter in her long and storied history as she is decommissioned from the scientific fleet of the Schmidt Ocean Institute to become a global expedition vessel once again.
The range of marine science research activities that could be supported on board of Lone Ranger included the following operations:
- Over-the-side deployments with a 15 ton crane and aft port side capstan
- Underway water sampling using the bow sea water intake located 3.5 m below the waterline
- Work boat operations, including snorkeling
Wet lab work, using the following facilities:
- -80 C, -20 C, +4 C sample preservation
- Ductless fume hood
- US electrical equipment no greater than 25 kVA cumulatively
- European native (unregulated) electrical outlets
- Hot and cold fresh water at sinks
- Sea water available in the wet lab and on working deck
- Compressed air supply
- Operations requiring installation of additional equipment on working decks, e.g. lab vans, add-on winches, aquaria, etc.
- Operations requiring continuous Internet access