John Sammons, July 25, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 25, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 41° 02’ N
Longitude: 69° 15’ W
Visibility: 0
Wind direction: NNW (230)
Wind speed: 15 knots
Sea wave height: unknown
Swell wave height: unknown
Sea water temperature: 11.4° C
Sea level pressure: 1012 millibars
Cloud cover: Dense Fog

Question of the Day:

What weather instruments located on the ALBATROSS IV measure wind speed and direction? (See picture 5.) (Send your answer to my e-mail listed below.)

Science and Technology Log

Weather and other instrumentation play an important part on the ALBATROSS IV. The ship uses a somewhat automated guidance system to take the ship to the predetermined dredging stations. That system also helped us navigate to where we are currently. With the dense fog on our current heading, it was a good thing they do not have to sail by sight only.

Monday morning, we had many people to meet and many things to learn. The fantail, or back area of the ship, was a gathering point for large discussions as well as our “Abandon ship!” drill. In picture 12 I had to don my “”Gumby suit” for a practice “just in case we have to leave the ship” drill. Of course, it was only a practice one that we hope we will never have to use.

Monday afternoon was a busy one getting the ship ready for departure. There has been lots of training and people to meet. While underway our training continued as we learned about safety drills, scallop sorting and measuring, and water sampling. The water sampling is done using a Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) device that determines the salinity (saltiness) and temperature at various levels to the bottom.

On Tuesday evening, we used the Fisheries Scientific Computer Systems (FSCS) to take measurements on scallop sizes and weights. This electronically accepts data automatically when the scallop baskets are placed on the scale. Using what looks like a cutting board, the scallops’ length, gender, and meat mass is determined.

I am on watch (which means I am working) from 12 – 6 in the afternoon and from midnight – 6 in the morning.  I am sure to get some photos for the next day or two to show how this survey is done.

Personal Log

Early Arrival 

I arrived on early Sunday eve to find the ship was docked,
Passing through the metal gate that I only thought was locked.
Resting from her recent trip, she makes a humming sound,
Waiting for her crew to board and get a look around.
The sun reflects and sparkles in the ever choppy sea,
I wonder what this exciting adventure will bring to me.