Welcome Aboard – the R/V Jaeger

By Captain Fred Channell. August 24, 2017
The R/V Jaeger – expanding BRP’s marine research capabilities.

You may know that the long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus) is a pelagic seabird that spends most of its life offshore; or you may know that “Jäger” is German for “hunter”; you may not know that the research vessel R/V Jaeger is the latest addition to Cornell University’s fleet.

The R/V Jaeger is a 42-foot former commercial fishing boat built in 1980 by Bruno & Stillman of Newington, New Hampshire. Powered by a 420-HP Caterpillar 3126 engine, she cruises very economically at 14 knots; and is an extremely seaworthy offshore boat.

R/V Jaeger traveling through the Intracoastal Waterway in North CarolinaR/V Jaeger traveling through Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina.
Recovered marine autonomous recording units after a long deployment.

Operated by Capt. Fred Channell and mate, Derek Jaskula; the R/V Jaeger can accommodate 8 persons (2 crew and 6 guests) for offshore work; 4 persons for overnight work; and others as needed when working inshore.

The Jaeger was purchased in the spring of 2016 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to support the research efforts of the Bioacoustics Research Program; specifically deploying and retrieving marine acoustic recording equipment off the east coast of the United States. In the intervening year, we have been on an extended sea-trial cruise; operating up and down the coast from New England to Florida, offshore and along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), with several periods in boatyards, refitting the hull & equipment, and making customizations to directly support our mission.

Field Opps team on a lunch break during a recent deployment tripField Operations team on a lunch break during a recent deployment trip.
Osprey nest along the Inter-Coastal Waterway in North CarolinaOsprey nest along the Intraoastal Waterway in North Carolina.

This past year we have encountered waterspouts 135 miles out to sea, alligators and birds on the ICW, sea turtles, Mola molas, sharks, whales, and more dolphins than we could possibly count. We’ve dodged container ships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines; been shadowed by mysterious ships at night and threaded our way through more jet-skis and paddle boarders than I’d like to recall.

Please check out this link for more information about the R/V Jaeger and our Field Operations team. As we prepare for our fall/winter field season, we look forward to sharing our continuing work and adventures. Please be sure to look for further updates and photographs along the way.