NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Miller Freeman
July 5 – August 1, 2004
Wednesday July 7th, 2004 20:05
Longitude: 60° Sea Wave Height: 3′
Latitude: 172° 18 Swell Wave Height: 0-1′
Visibility: closing 5-8 nm fog Sea Water Temperature: 7.9C
Wind Direction: 214 Barometric Pressure: 1028 strong high pressure
Wind Speed: 5 kts Cloud Cover: complete
Science and Technology Log:
The plan for tonight is to run a MOCC trawl to test the equipment prior to live sampling, but lets back up a moment and look at the device used for this fish collecting experiment. Originally known as the KMOCC (Karp Multiple Opening and Closing Codend), the MOCC as it is commonly known is a scientific piece of equipment designed to allow scientists to selectively sample specific layers in the ocean. MOCC has the ability to collect fish samplings from a maximum of three different stratum, allowing the scientists choice. Pollock of different sizes tend to congregate at different oceanic layers and through the use of equipment like the MOCC scientists can look at sonar and choose from which population they would like to sample, without contaminating the haul with fish from different size groups. This form of selective sampling will aid the researchers in observing specific fish (pollock) populations.
Today there have been no fish trawls as according to the sonar data the ships transects have not passed any significant fish populations.
I am on a 215 foot research vessel, touring the Bering Sea looking for walleye pollock, and can sit at this computer for an hour, watching the sonar all alone. With over thirty individuals living on this floating community it never ceases to amaze me that the schedules can be so well devised as to allow people their individual space. With a spare moment one might even be seen sitting in their stateroom relaxing. This amazing personal space is a person’s home away from home and usually has two residents. Each individual will work mirror hours so that while one person is sleeping, the other is working. Why is this fact so important? Well let me explain to you how many staterooms on the Miller Freeman are designed.
As you enter a stateroom there is on one side a set of berths, similar to a bunk bed, but Spartan by necessity. Each berth is approximately three feet wide and two feet high. Not a lot of room for movement, but functional in the processing of sleep. After the berth there is a spartan sink, a small desk, and two built in closets, all in a space that is eleven feet long and approximately five and a half feet wide. (Please realize that the 5.5â€™ included the beds, closets everything, so walking space is at its best at 2.5â€™ in the very middle.) The closets are not standard sized actually they are miniature and already contain your personalized life jacket and survival suit. Once inside the survival suit though you might have more room than in your berth. Space aside the rooms are functional, and a little cozy. I have slept in my berth for a few nights, and with the rocking of the boat and the lull of the engine it is as comfortable as an old porch hammock, on a warm summer evening as the breeze lulls you to sleep.