Captain Rhett McMunn

Captain McMunn has been aboard the R/V Endeavor for going on 29 years now.  He is in charge of all activities aboard the vessel, as well as all responsibilities on and off land that go with running a large research vessel.  Even during this interview, he was aware of every reading on every screen, was watching the deployed In-Situ pumps, monitoring the radio, and checking in with the crew and the lab.  He could stop mid-sentence, adjust the throttle for the current and answer a call, and then pick up his conversation without missing a beat.

He was born and raised in Long Island, NY where lived until graduating from high school.  After that, he was encouraged by his father to pursue a career as a captain, and he enrolled in the Maine Maritime Academy.  When Capt. McMunn graduated, he had earned a B.S. in Marine Science with a Minor in Business Marine Transit, as well as his 3rd Mate’s license.  Right after college, he joined up with Woods Hole Research Institution and worked on their vessel the R/V Chain for some years.  He also had sea time aboard some deep sea research vessels. 

He later heard Rhode Island University was looking for a relief mate, and he was looking for a job.  One phone call later, he was hired on board the R/V Endeavor the very next day.  Over the past 29 years he has worked his way up from Chief Mate, and became Captain several years back when the previous Captain retired.  He really enjoys the travel opportunities aboard this vessel, and has sailed around the entire world more than once.  His favorite places so far have been St. John’s, Newfoundland and Easter Island.

Capt. McMunn suggests for any students following this, who are interested in a sea-going career, to go to college for their degree.  You will come out with the knowledge and needed license to get started on your path.  Look into institutions such as the Federal Maritime Academy or Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, as well as your state Maritime Academies.  Another option is to check into your local state representatives.  You may qualify for a Congressional Appointment to one of the Academies, which relieves the need for tuition.

When the Captain is not sailing, or working at the University of Rhode Island, he enjoys time at his home with his wife in Ormond Beach, FL.  They spend vacation time traveling, taking road trips, and exploring the many National Parks in our nation.

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