NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Ka’imimoana
September 15 – 27, 2003
Mission: Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO)/TRITON
Geographical Area: Western Pacific
Date: September 16, 2003
Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
0815 Anchor Aweigh: Underway
Weather Observation Log: 0100
Latitude: 8 degrees, 56.7′ S
Longitude: 139 degrees, 59.1′ W
Visibility: 12 nautical miles (nm)
Wind direction: 100 degress
Wind speed: 18 knots (kts)
Sea wave height: 5-6 feet
Swell wave height: 5-7 feet
Sea water temperature: 27.2 degrees C
Sea level pressure: 1013.8 mb (millibars)
Dry bulb temperature: 28.0 degress C
Wet bulb temperature: 23.0 degrees C
Cloud cover: 2/8 Cumulus, Altocumulus
Today is my first full day on the KA’IMIMOANA, and we steamed out of the harbor of Nuku Hiva at 8:15 am past the huge rocks that guard both sides of the bay. I was out on the forward deck for much of the morning, admiring the striking coastline of Nuku Hiva as we got underway in what were somewhat rough sea conditions. I took some pictures of the dramatic cliffs that break off sharply down to the sea with not a sign of any human habitation. I was somewhat wistful at departing this very unspoiled island, but thought, perhaps some day I will get to return. After all, I never in my life expected to ever visit such a remote spot as the Marquesas Islands. Off in the distance, so shrouded in mist it seemed almost a mirage, could be faintly discerned another one of the Marquesas Islands, its craggy peaks rising up like castle ramparts in a fairy tale. I remained on deck taking in the salty breeze, but the ship was heaving up and down in seas that were at least 6-9 feet.
I thought I should go back to my stateroom and finish my unpacking and arranging my things, as everything on board a ship has to be “ship-shape,” meaning neat, clean and orderly. I was aware that I really wasn’t feeling all that well, having developed somewhat of a queasy feeling from the rocking of the ship while in the bay at Nuku Hiva. I went outside a few more times to catch some final glimpses of island we were leaving behind, and it seemed that the seas were definitely rough. Uh, oh, I had heard horror stories about some crew members being seasick for days on end. By this time, I was feeling quite ill. I talked to several “old hands” on board, and several urged me to take it easy, and maybe try and sleep. We were steaming to our destination at 4 degrees South Latitude from Nuku Hiva, which is at 8 degrees South latitude, and so were basically headed north, along the 139th meridian of Longitude. We had no buoy operations scheduled today, so I decided it would be best to just take it easy.
There is nothing worse than being seasick, although I never really got that bad. I took some more Dramamine and hoped for the best. The few times I did get up in the afternoon to go down to the mess for some tea, I saw other crew members, and they were telling me it was unusually rough, and I was not the only one feeling sick. So there isn’t much to tell about today, except that they say that a little seasickness comes with first going to sea until you get your “sea legs”. As I turned in for the night, I imagine my face looked a little green, and I was fervently hoping I would get those legs as quickly as possible.
From the Plan of the Day: Notice: ” Secure all items for sea”
Does that include lunch?
Aloha from the KA!