Dana Tomlinson: Day 5, March 5, 2002

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Dana Tomlinson

Aboard NOAA Ship Ka’imimoana

March 1 – 27, 2002

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Latitude: 15 N
Longitude: 111 W
Seas: N/NW 2-5 ft.
Visibility: Unrestricted
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Sea Surface Temp: 72-76F
Winds: NE 5-10
Air Temp: 78-65F

Hello again from the sunny Pacific! Today was another wonderful day in paradise. We were actually visited by some boobies doing some aerial maneuvers around the ship. We also saw numerous flying fish who I don’t think were visiting, but trying to get out of our way! It was my first sighting of flying fish. I always figured that they’d soar out of the water and fall back in, but, as often happens, boy was I wrong. These fish (very slender and smaller than I thought -looked like maybe 8-10 inches long) burst out of the water and then literally fly. They use their pectoral fins as wings and some easily flew for 50 yards. Amazing.

Since we are still in transit to the first buoy (arriving Wed 3/7), I spent today on camera in tests to get our technology all set for the live web feeds we will be doing for schools around the country (and in a few other countries, too). If you are a teacher who would like to set up a live webfeed for your classroom, please email me, and I’ll connect you with the people who will make it happen.

The scientists continue to prep for work they’ll be undertaking any day now. Since I don’t have anything very scientific to discuss today, I think I’ll take this opportunity to give you information on something I’ve been getting LOTS of questions about … the food!

JoseFelipe from San Diego was one of the first to ask! The mess (it’s actually very neat, but that’s what they call the cafeteria) is open to feed us three times a day: from 0700-0800, 1100-1200 and from 1630-1730. They are strict about the times. Clementine and Sandra are the cooks and they do a terrific job feeding the 30 of us on board a great deal of variety. For breakfast every day, they’ve had a choice of hot or cold cereals, waffles, pancakes, and some sort of egg dish. For lunch, there is always a salad bar, and usually sandwiches and a soup, and then a couple of main dishes. For dinner, you usually have at least 3 dishes to choose from. Dessert at lunch is usually ice cream or fruit, and for dinner it’s usually something VERY fattening. Tonight, it was the richest chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. During any other hours of the day, the mess is open for the snacks they have available: bread, peanut butter, all of the drinks, salad, crackers, etc. So far, my favorites have been the Chinese soup, the chicken curry and the Caesar salad (at three different meals and all made from scratch). We are a lucky crew. Thanks, ladies!!

Question of the Day: 

When looking at a forecast, what does SST stand for?

Hint: you can find it in my daily log.

Answer of the Day:

Vanessa P. from San Diego was the first to ask me what the #2 and #3 most frequently asked questions of me were before I left on my voyage. Here are those questions and answers:

#2 Are there any other women on board with you?
Answer: Yes, there are a total of 8 women on board and 22 men.

#3 How did you get chosen for this?
Answer: I’m not really sure. My best guess is that the folks who decide these things at NOAA liked the fact that I wrote well when I filled out my application, they liked that I have done a lot of things in outdoor education, and perhaps they liked the fact that I used to be a flight attendant so they knew that I can travel and take care of myself. I really don’t know, but I’m sure glad they did!

Til tomorrow,
🙂 Dana

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