Mission & Objectives
Scientists & Crew
Interviews: Dave Murline
Dave Murline on the Bridge of RV Melville with
his fishing partner Dave Grimes (background) who is the AB (Able-Bodied
Seaman) on Daves
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don't feel that Ive fully grown up yet! My goal in life was
to become a beach bum and explore the worlds oceans. Hopefully,
I will soon retire or at least cut down on my time at sea and be able
to devote myself fully to the beach and traveling. Since I could crawl,
Ive spent the majority of
my life on the ocean—sailing, swimming, surfing, diving, and fishing. Working
at Scripps has really been a dream come true for me. My only regret is that I
have spent so much time away from family and friends. The last few years, Ive
spent about 9 months out of each year at sea.
takes the morning temperature readings outside the Bridge
on RV Melville. He is spinning the sling psychrometer,
which takes a dry and wet temperature reading. The difference
between the two readings allows you to calculate the humidity.
What is your educational background, and how did you end up in the
job youre in now?
I received a B.S. degree in Nautical Industrial Technology with a
minor in Oceanography from the California Maritime Academy (CMA)
in Valejo, California. Captain Buck and I were classmates and in
the same division at the Academy. I have always been interested in
Oceanography, and Scripps is the best. In high school, I took some
summer school classes on the SIO Campus and thought it would be an
interesting place to work. I thought that would be a great way to
make a living -- going to sea and learning all about the oceans
secrets. The Scripps ships work world-wide and are always going to
new places -- unlike merchant ships that have a scheduled route and
go from point A to point B. This job gives me the opportunity to
see new cultures and meet interesting people. I enjoy talking to
people and learning about what they are into with their work and
lives. Right after graduating from CMA in 1984, I moved to Catalina
Island and spent the summer operating a Glass Bottom Boat and water
taxis in Avalon. One day, Scripps called me up and offered me an
Able-Bodied (AB) Seamans job sailing to Hawaii aboard the Melville. I
jumped at the chance and have been here ever since.
roll call during the weekly fire and boat drill wearing his
What are your duties while at sea?
Im in charge of the Deck Department. Our responsibility is
keeping the ship clean and maintained. On board Melville, my
job is made very easy because of the great support I get from the Bosun and
ABs (Able-Bodied Seamen). Everyone on board takes great pride in the
work they do to keep Melville looking
great. People are always remarking on how good the ship looks even though she
is over 30 years old. I am also responsible for ordering all the deck equipment,
such as paint and cleaning supplies. I conduct all the safety and fire-fighting
drills, and am the on-scene leader in emergency situations. Safety training
is probably one of my most important jobs. I stand a bridge watch too from 1600-2000
hours. One of my other duties is keeping track of the beer and t-shirt fund!
From the profits we make selling t-shirts, we buy exercise and entertainment
equipment, and sometimes we will throw a big beach party. We spend it as quickly
as we make it, because we are always buying things for the ship to make it a
more comfortable and a better place to live.
What do you like to do in your spare time, on and off the ship?
On the ship I read, workout, and fish. I like to start my day off early with
a sunrise swim in the pool and a walk about the decks. When Im off the
ship, I keep a similar routine: get up early, take the dogs for a walk along
the Cliffs to check out the ocean, and then decide whether I will go surfing,
diving, or fishing. I also play water polo on a club team called San Diego Shores.
Often when my at-sea work rotation is up, Ill spend a few weeks traveling
around before returning home. Ive really had some great opportunities
to see some unusual places such as Isla Pasqua (Easter Island). The first five
years I worked for Scripps, I hardly ever went home. I would get off the ship
and travel and then Id come home, spend a week, and then get back on the
ship and travel again.
What was the greatest challenge you ever faced in life, and how did you overcome
Probably the passing away of my parents. They were my greatest inspiration and
guidance in my life. I really have a lot of respect for the way they lived their
lives. I try to emulate their values and lifestyle. While I cant see
or talk with them anymore, I still think about them all the time and know that
their spirits live on in me. Thats how Ive overcome it. I think
of all the good things that they were.
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