NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Delaware II
March 24 – 31, 2005
Mission: Atlantic Mackerel and Herring Survey
Geographical Area: New Jersey
Date: March 28, 2005
Longitude: 70˚ W
SOG (speed over ground – boat): 10.5 Knots
Speed log (speed of boat through water): 10.4 knots
COG (course over ground – boat): 34˚
Furuno3 (3 meters deep) temp.: 2.1˚ C
Air temp.: 3.8˚ C
TSG (thermosalinograph) conductivity: 28 TSG
Salinity: 31 ppt. (3.1%)
Fluorescence value (phytoplankton): 244.7 µg/L
Swells: 2 feet (very calm)
Science and Technology Log
Yesterday afternoon included a variety of happenings. First, I interviewed some more crew members, took some more pictures, ran the CTD probe and water sampler 2 times, helped clean up data noise from the simrad, and finished up taking a tour of the engine room.
I spoke with Lisa again, as she was up during my shift to clean up some datum for her research. She is doing a paper on topographical features and the species of fishes which thrive in each type. Different types of flora and fauna, rock bottom, or murky detritus bottom, and also the step sloped type bottom. I just reread that sentence and it’s funny. Anyway, Lisa is a contracted scientist who works with Mike J.
Bill (a.k.a. the ultimate Snood player, Kill Bill) spoke with me a while about NOAA careers and what he’s gained by working for them. He ultimately was hired as an undergrad, then over the years NOAA paid for him to go through a PhD program, I think at U.Mass. Note to self: Now isn’t that strange, the federal government pay for scientists to better their education, but state governments won’t for educators to better their education. He’s worked with Mike J for about 5 years now on the fish surveys. His specialty is the underwater camera/video equipment and he showed me a few models they brought with them. Ultimately, we were going to put them in today, but since we have to head back to Woods Hole to get the hydraulics fixed, we’ll wait until we back out Tuesday.
Grady Abney is one of the engineers on board. He is a retired civilian, and has worked on this ship for 8 years now. He showed me around the engine room and patiently answered my many questions. How this ship runs is amazing. Or maybe more amazing is that the basic internal combustion engine that we purchase to get from point A to point B barely lasts 100,000 miles – not running constantly. This 12 cylinder Diesel engine onboard the DELAWARE II was installed in 1968 and runs, basically nonstop. They have a rebuild kit (piston sleeves bearings and gaskets) onboard. It’s refitted/overhauled after so many hours…no other real maintenance, other than oil changes, is performed. This monster has 1025 horsepower and runs through approximately 1100 gallons of fuel a day on a good day–at a normal 10 knot pace.
The tachometer hovers around 800 rpm and the reducer, better known to us as a transmission, takes the power form the rpm’s and runs the propeller, reducing the rpm’s to 250. The temperatures are rather intense…even when it’s freezing outside that room stays at a nice 95 degrees F with the vents open. The engine case temp is about 450 degree F, and the oil temp is 160 degrees F. The camshaft has never been replaced…37 years old. Grady showed me the generators and their backup. The other feature in the engine room that is interesting is the evaporator (i.e., the desalinator) . Get this, the fresh water that is sealed in the engine serving as the radiator, is run through an area of incoming sea water. The heat from water which cooled the engine is used to evaporate the sea water. The only other process the newly made drinking water goes through is a bromine filter; at that point the water is safe to drink.
We took the last 2 CTD reading yesterday and the 3rd water sample. The CTD worked great until a short occurred (thankfully on the last release) the CTD read accurately to 375 meters and then just stopped all data retrieval. The area we were over at the time was 550 meters deep.
Mike J called me out to the aft of the ship to point out dolphins and D said she saw a couple of whales. Dolphins don’t really thrive in the colder regions in the winter. When I was cleaning up data with Mike, it revealed a mass of fish in 6 places on the readout. One mass of fish was about 1.5 miles long. But since we can’t trawl I have a hard time visualizing the little blocks on the screen to real fish.
We’re about 2 – 3 hours from Woods Hole right now.
Dennis and Nellie put on a phenomenal Easter Dinner; they’re both awesome cooks.
I’m tired of the shower beating me up.
I’ve never had an exercise bike move around the room when I rode it.
Walking into walls has become a favorite activity of mine.
My powerpoint, picture not text, slide show is up to 50 right now.
I’m going to buy a diesel vehicle when I get home.
I will definitely write another grant to attain more computer based lab equipment and develop at least 4 core labs that I do with them each year. Computer based lab equipment is a great way to teach the students data analysis (statistical error).