NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
April 25 – May 5, 2006
Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Date: May 2, 2006
Weather Data from Bridge
Visibility: 10 nautical miles (nm)
Wind direction: 130°
Wind speed: 7kt
Sea wave height: 0 ft.
Sea water temp: 10.2
Sea level pressure: 1030.0 mb
Present weather: Mostly cloudy
Temperature: °C~ 9.0 dry/7.5wet
Science and Technology Log
The ship continued to perform the Gulf of Esquibel data collection. Today, however, the ship used the Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP), also known as the “Fish,” in place of the Seacat to provide multiple vertical profiles of the water’s data to include sound velocity and the CTD cast. Two advantages of using the MVP are 1) the ship does not have to come to a complete stop and 2) it is automatically deployed from the ship or initiated by the MVP operator without the need for deck personnel. Once the MVP has created the profile, the survey tech is able to immediately view the data.
I witnessed the operation of the anchor as we prepared to leave San Fernando Island. As able seamen positioned themselves on the ship’s bow to raise the anchor, it was clear that it is a major undertaking dependent upon teamwork. There are two anchors, one on the port side (north left) of the ship and the other on the starboard side (north right) of the ship, that are alternately used. Each anchor has eight shots of chain. One shot of chain is equivalent to 90 feet. Of the eight shots of chain, there are selected color-coded chains in red, white, blue and yellow. These color-coded combinations allow the able seamen to determine how many shots to drop in the water and how many shots have been dropped in the water. As a rule, the number of shots dropped should be three to five times the depth of the water which is measured in fathoms. One fathom of water equals six feet.
Thanks Able Seaman Grayeagle for letting me read your book, Whittier–The Strangest Town in Alaska, truly a memorable nugget.
Question of the Day
Geospatial Semester and Environmental Science Students
Solve the following problem: The FAIRWEATHER Ship dropped anchor in 35 fathoms of water. 1) What is the depth of the water in feet, 2) At least how many shots of chain should be dropped, and 3) Approximately how much chain is left out of the water?
A Profile of Ensign Matthew Glazewski
Ensign Glazewski is the newest Junior Officer aboard the NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER. As a Junior Officer, he has several collateral duties in ship management — Tides, Training Assistant, Weather, Discharge Certificates and Mess Treasurer. He graduated from Penn State University, PA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology in 2005. His concentration of courses included Calculus, Physics and Weather Systems. His initial interest in meteorology began at an early age when he became curious about why trees fell on his parents’ home. Matthew, nicknamed Matt, has an interest in tropical meteorology and has completed a case study of a 1975 tropical cyclone that traveled north while maintaining its characteristics in northern latitudes. A short-term career goal for Matt is to pursue graduate studies in order to obtain a Master’s degree in Ocean Atmosphere Interaction. His long-term career goal is to become an expert in the field of marine forecasting.
Matt wanted to become an Officer in the NOAA Officer Corps instead of working as a civilian. He believes that his experience on the NOAA ship FAIRWEATHER gives him an opportunity to see and apply what he has studied at Penn State and provides him with a better understanding of factors that influence small-scale climates.