Debra Brice, November 18, 2003

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Debra Brice
Onboard R/V Roger Revelle
November 11-25, 2003

Mission: Ocean Observation
Geographical Area: Chilean Coast
Date: November 18, 2003

Data from the Bridge
1.  181700Z Nov 03
2.  Position: LAT: 19-43.5’S, LONG: 085-15.0’W
3.  Course: 000-T
4.  Speed: 12.5 Kts
5.  Distance: 38.8 NM
6.  Steaming Time:  3H 06M
7.  Station Time:  20H 54M
8.  Fuel: 1565 GAL
9.  Sky: Ptly Cldy
10. Wind: 130-T, 11 Kts
11. Sea: 130-T, 2-3 Ft
12. Swell: 150-T, 3-5 Ft
13. Barometer: 1018.5 mb
14. Temperature: Air: 21.3 C, Sea 19.2 C
15. Equipment Status: NORMAL
16. Comments: Survey in progress.

Science and Technology Log

Today the REVELLE spent the day surveying an area for deployment of the STRATUS 4 buoy.  We traveled 50 miles from the STRATUS 3 site with the hopes of getting out of the GPS mapped area of the fishing boats to prevent the fouling of the instruments with fishing line.  Fishing boats target buoys as they become areas of fish aggregation in the open ocean.  The ship took a zigzag pattern most of the day surveying the bottom topography ( see photo of survey and course). Dr Weller explained that he needed to find a relatively long, flat area on the bottom as we will be underway during the deployment of the instrumentation and we need to travel is a straight line to lay out the instruments.  Due to the wind direction we will not be exactly following the straight line of the flat bottom area, but coming in at a slight angle. Jeff Lord and Jason Smith of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Upper Ocean Processes group spent the day preparing the cables, laying out the instrumentation  and spraying various parts with de-fouling paint.  It was a very detailed all day procedure.  Moving the buoy and other heavy instrumentation requires good skills in rigging and crane operations.  The Upper Ocean Processes Group of which Dr. Weller is the head, are highly trained and make this complicated and potentially dangerous work look so easy.  This is part of the job as an oceanographer that you don’t learn in the classroom, but are taught by watching and doing with another professional. The STRATUS 4 buoy will have a slightly different instrumentation than the STRATUS 3.  The Seacat current meters with the rotating fan blades that were fouled with the fishing line will be moved deeper on the mooring and acoustical current meters will be moved to a more shallow spot.  Unfortunately the Seacats are more accurate than the acoustical current meters, but they can’t collect data if they are fouled.  The acoustical meters have no moving parts to foul.  Dr. Weller will also be comparing and calibrating some of the radiation sensors with Dr. Chris Fairall of the ELT group using they cloud radar data.  Deployment will begin after breakfast (approx. 7:45 am) tomorrow morning.

Personal Log

I didn’t help very much with the science activities today other than to stand watch and take hourly temperature readings.  Dr. Kermond and I spent the day filming several interviews.  We toured the extremely impressive engine room on the R/V REVELLE with the Chief Engineer Paul Mauricio.  Please check out our tour on the web.  We also resumed our “Fantail Interviews”  with Jason Tomlinson, Meteorologist from Texas A&M who is doing aerosol research out here with us.  I will spend an entire log in the next couple of days on Jason’s aerosol research.  Tonight on the Fantail we will be interviewing Dr. Chris Fairall of NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratories and NOAA/PMEL Tsunami buoy deployment group, Mike Strick and Scott Stalin.  be sure to tune in:)I need to work on my survey of good sunscreens and/or stronger aloe vera lotions!  The boobies from the STRATUS 3 buoy are following us wanting to know when their new “cafeteria” will be installed.  Much to do tomorrow, it will be another long day doing the deployment and I am very interested as to how they are going to get that 9000 lb anchor in the water!

hasta la vista

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