Debbie Stringham, July 6, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Debbie Stringham
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
July 5 – 15, 2005

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: North Pacific, Alaska
Date: July 6, 2005

stringham_logsWeather Data 

Location: in transit
Latitude: 59 02.8’ N
Longitude: 152 33.6’ W
Visibility: 10 nm.
True Wind Speed: 10 kts.
True Wind Direction: 235
Sea Wave Height: 1-2 ft.
Swell Wave Height: 2-3 ft.
Sea Water Temperature: 12.7 C
Sea Level Pressure: 1000.5
Sky Description: Partly Cloudy
Dry Bulb Temperature: 15.9 C
Wet Bulb Temperature: 13.9 C

Science and Technology Log 

Departed Homer at 1333, assisted with the mooring ropes, and explored facilities to orient myself with the ship’s layout. The Field Operations Officer (FOO), former Executive Officer (XO), and the XO’s replacement showed me safety drill procedures for fire, abandon ship, and man over board. The crew is required to practice these drills weekly and be prepared for any such event that might occur. Everyone on board has a specific place they need to be when they hear a specific alarm.

One long wailing blast, 10 seconds or more, means fire, more than six blasts means abandon ship, and three blasts means man over board. I was also given safety tips of when to wear a hard hat, gloves, and positive buoyancy clothing. I watched the NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER Vessel Familiarization CD on a crew computer, set up and checked my NOAA email  account, and looked through maritime books in the lounge in order to familiarize myself with basic seamanship terms.

I spoke with three survey technicians about their education and where they were from and was surprised to find that two of them had graduated in Geography and one of them in Biology. Most crew aboard this ship come from coastal areas such as California, Washington, or Florida where the ocean has been a strong influence in their lives. One survey tech said that the coolest thing he’s seen while surveying was when he had to stop operations because there were too many whales.

Question of the Day 

How deep is 1 fathom?

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