Mavis Peterson, June 24, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mavis Peterson
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
June 21 – July 9, 2005

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: North Pacific, Alaska
Date: June 24, 2005

Weather Data 

Lat.:55 o7.2 N
Long.: 160 07.4W
Visibility:  1
Wind direction: 123
True wind speed: .9 knts
Swell wave height: 1
Sea water temperature: 9.15 C
Dry bulb 19.8
Wet bulb 9.0
sea level pressure: 1011.5
Cloud cover and type: cumulus overcast

Science and Technology Log 

We were in the launches on the water shortly after 8:00 A.M.  We are again headed out to scan around the Shumigan Islands.  I am with a different crew today, and the officer in training is doing the computer work under the guidance of a trained tech.  It is pretty much the same procedure as yesterday.  We travel to the position we want to scan, set up equipment, line up and begin scanning.  A basic map of the area that shows what has been scanned is on the computer as well as in a folder as hard copy.  The coxswain has a monitor that shows the same map.  It is interesting to note that the two GPS units travel through an “adjusting machine” that calculates and takes in consideration the pitch roll and yaw of the boat and thus makes a more accurate location measurement.  Today did not go quite as smoothly as yesterday.  There were more swells and our “rows” of scanning were more like ribbon candy than straight strips, but the area got covered.  The crew doing the work seems very efficient and followed procedures exactly.  This is very important.  An example would be if the radar and the GPS units were left on at the same time, the GPS units would be burned out.  A heavy fog bank moved in so we left without finishing the polygon we were scanning.

While on the bridge after dinner everyone suddenly noticed that the ship was listing by several degrees. Department heads began popping onto the bridge, full of concern.  It was soon discovered that the list is due to refueling of small boats, not a concern as it evened out when all were fueled.

Personal Log 

The seasickness seems to be gone for good.  I spent the evening on the bridge planning for our scientist interviews and just generally taking in information abut the usage of all the equipment.  Although we are anchored, readings on location are still taken on an hourly basis, to ensure that we are not drifting.  I read through a notebook listing about everything an officer needs to be signed off on in order to become an Officer on Duty or in charge of the bridge. They need to know the where and why of almost every room and equipment, procedures and all types of information such as how much and how many of many of everything.  It looks like an incredible amount to learn.

Question of the day: Who uses this information?

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