At any given time on any given day, there are NOAA ships making oceanographic observations, studying and protecting marine mammals, conducting fisheries stock assessments, surveying our harbors and waterways, servicing oceanographic buoys, or conducting any of a myriad of tasks and operations that help us better understand, protect, and wisely use the ocean and its resources. NOAA's vessels range from the 274-foot RONALD H. BROWN to small skiffs used for inshore work in a variety of settings. Over the years, NOAA ships have worked in all oceans, circum-navigated the Earth, and operated north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. They have visited every continent. They have worked in virtually all climates: from frigid polar regions to torrid equatorial regions and experienced all climatic conditions in between. Also visit the ships and boats of yesteryear, as NOAA's maritime heritage extends back to the early Nineteenth Century.
Recent NOAA ship travels have included: the RONALD H. BROWN completing an around the world cruise this past year; the McARTHUR sailing the length of the West Coast and then throughout the eastern tropical Pacific; the FERREL working in coastal waters ranging from New England to the central Gulf of Mexico; the MILLER FREEMAN traversing areas from the Aleutian Islands to San Francisco while conducting fisheries studies; and the KA'IMIMOANA cruising the seas of the equatorial Pacific helping monitor El Nino/La Nina events. On the charting side, NOAA vessels worked from Maine to Texas as well as in U. S. Caribbean islands in the Atlantic and in all U.S. states and territories bordering the Pacific Ocean.