NOAA Teacher at Sea: Tammy Orilio
NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
Mission: Pollock Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Alaska
Date: 25 June 2011
Weather Data from the Bridge:
Wind Speed: 13.80 knots
Surface Water Temp: 7.9 degrees C
Water Depth: 113.78 m
Air Temp: 8.3 degrees C
Relative Humidity: 97%
Unfortunately, it’s been another day of no fishing for me My shift just ended, and we’ve only seen small, scattered groups of fish on the acoustic displays today- not enough to put the nets into the water. Yesterday was nearly the same as today, but we did do a plankton trawl to sample the krill in the water. I’ll write more about that in another post.
From what I’ve heard from other Teachers at Sea, I expected to be working in the fish lab pretty much the entire duration of my 12 hour shift. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case! But, there’s not much I can do if there are only a scattering of fish in an area. Even the scientists are saying that they’re surprised by the lack of fish on this leg of the survey. I still have another 5 days or so (depending on when we start heading back to port, and if we’re working on the way there, or just straight sailing), so hopefully I’ll see some more action over the last few days of the trip. However, I know that we can’t control whether the fish are here or not- it’s all part of the science process!
The science team will be disembarking on Thursday June 30 and heading home, but the trip is definitely not over for the rest of the crew and NOAA officers. Another group of scientists and two more Teachers at Sea will be boarding the ship, and then they’ll set sail for another 3 weeks, doing the same thing we’ve been doing, just in a different part of the Gulf of Alaska. Then, the original group of scientists (that are on board now) and two more teachers will come back for the last leg of the trip. This method of switching people every few weeks is advantageous so that no one gets too run down or antsy to get off the ship. However, most of the deck crew, engineers, and NOAA officers stay onboard for all 3 legs of the trip- I don’t know if I could do that! I’ve been on board for 2 weeks now, and I’m doing fine, but I couldn’t imagine being on here for 9 or 10 weeks!
Lastly, here are a few photos of the area we’ve been in the last two days. Looking at our digital map, we’ve got nothing to look at but open water for the next 10 hours or so, but we’re moving into an area filled with lots of little islands in the next day, so I’m sure I’ll get some photos!