Susan Just, June 21, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Susan Just
Onboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
June 15 – 30, 2006

Mission: Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area: Gulf of Mexico
Date: June 21, 2006

Weather Data from Bridge 
Visibility: 10 nautical miles (nm)
Wind direction: 105 ◦
Wind speed: 10
Sea wave height: 1-2
Swell wave height: 2-3
Seawater temperature: 27.7
Sea level pressure: 1012.8
Cloud cover: 2/8 Cumulus

Science and Technology Log 

Things started out fairly normal this morning.  There were fish waiting on the deck when our watch began. We then steamed to a new location. This station went as planned. On the next station the trawl went out and things were going well. We were processing fish when we smelled something strange. We concluded that there was something burning and we went out onto the deck.

Yes, something was burning. It was a clutch. This was an engine part, not an actual fire. There was no need for a fire alarm to sound. The problem was recognized. Although we are now short one Power Transfer Output (this is what takes engine power and uses it for winches and other power tools) we can continue our mission.

Personal Log 

The engine problem was really no big deal. It was much like burning up a clutch in a car. The smell is pretty awful and there is a little smoke but no fire. The smoke comes from the rubbing together of the surfaces under pressure. It was great to see the various ship’s personnel work together so smoothly and quickly to discover and correct any problems.

After going off watch and showering, I made a mistake. I did not remember that we have weekly drills. So, there I was, fresh out of the shower standing in the middle of the room when the alarm sounded and my roommate came running in to gather survival gear and personal flotation devices. I jumped into the nearest clothing, my pajamas, and joined in the drills.

Question of the Day 

As part of the Commerce Department, what is the goal of NOAA science research?

Answer: To collect information which can be used to answer the scientific and policy questions which impact our shared environment.

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