Melissa Fye, April 9, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Melissa Fye
Onboard NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai
April 4 – 25, 2005

Mission: Coral Reef Ecosystem Survey
Geographical Area: Northwest Hawaiian Island
Date: April 9, 2005

Sonar computers
Sonar computers

Location: Latitude: 28.5 N, Longitude: 49.3 W

Weather Data from the Bridge
Visibility: 10 nautical miles
Wind Direction: 42
Wind Speed: 16 kts
Sea Wave Height: 3 feet
Swell Wave Height: 3-4 feet
Sea Water Temperature: N/A
Sea Level Pressure: 1021 mb
Cloud Cover: 3/8 SC, AS, Ci

Science and Technology Log

As survey lines continued through the night, the Chief Scientist Scott Ferguson, Joyce Miller, and Jeremy Jones readied the AHI (Acoustic Habitat Investigator) research boat for deployment. Around 7:30 this morning, the 3 boarded the vessel and to engage in more sonar surveying. At noon a shuttle boat was launched with survey scientist Emily Lundblad aboard, to meet up with AHI so she could be trained in using the sonar system aboard the AHI. Scott Ferguson then returned to the HI’IALAKAI. The afternoon led the ship divers to take out another shuttle boat so that a proficiency dive could be conducted.  Around 5:00 pm the AHI and shuttle boat were brought back into the ship and tied up for the night.

Personal Log

Much of this day was spent interviewing personnel while I began to edit data from the swaths taken by the ship’s multibeam sonar system. It can take an hour or more to edit at noise pollution from just one file of data. An exciting part of the day included seeing a humpback whale in the ocean.  It came very close to the ship.  About every 10 minutes its blowhole (spouting water) would appear at the surface along with its tail. It only surfaced three times until it was too far off to see anymore. I finished editing data until dinner time and then succumbed to doing laundry on the ship!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Using your science book or another resource, find the definition of a mammal.  Is a whale a mammal? Why do you think it comes to the surface every 10 minutes?

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