Carolyn Bielser, May 28, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Carolyn Bielser
Onboard NOAA Ship Delaware II
May 23 – 30, 2005

Mission: Surf clam and quahog survey
Geographical Area: New England
Date: May 28, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge
Cloud cover – clear
Weather – clear
Wave height – 0.3
Swell height 0.4
Latitude 3958.66 N
Longitude 07400.65 W
Air temperature 24.8
Barometer 1009.6
Total Salinity 27.78
Wind Speed 14.17

Science and Technology Log

As of 0600 this morning, we reached station # 43. Beautiful morning, clear skies and getting warmer.  We are in an important area for this survey, off the coast of New Jersey, so some of the tows are repeated.  The dredge has been operating smoothly today.

Personal Log 

It is a beautiful morning out – clear skies and not cold.  I actually got an email from Jacqui. I have tried to send another one to school and hope something gets through.  I’m not doing so well with the pictures being sent, but I will bring them back – most of the action here takes place around this big dredge, so the dredge is the subject or background of many of my pictures.

On board are basically two groups that work together to make things happen.  The scientific group is composed of the Chief Scientist, the Watch Chiefs and the “scientists” (either volunteers, contracted employees or employees of NOAA).  The Chief Scientist in this case is Victor Nordahl. He is responsible for the conduct of the scientific personnel, organizing and implementing the scientific activities on board ship and making sure the cruise objectives are met.

The Watch Chiefs are responsible for directing and coordinating scientific activities on their watch.

The Master or C.O. is the final authority on board ship.  He is responsible for the safety of all on the ship, all personnel and equipment.  He is ultimately responsible for the comfort and morale of all.

On the scientific end, there are two watches.  The day watch is 0600 to noon, then 1800 to midnight.  The night watch goes noon to 1800 and midnight 0600.  So at any one time, half the scientific crew is working and half is sleeping.  So while we may have 14 people on the scientific end, you really are only crossing paths at change of watch.

The rest of the crew on board support the operation.  There are the fishermen who work a lot with the dredge, bringing it up and down; the engineer who takes care of the power end of the ship; the electrical technicians who are here for any electrical problems, and the cooks.

I got to climb up on top of the dredge today.  I should have taken a picture from the top– you would not have believed that I was up there!  I was clipped on though, so even if I slipped I would not have ended up in the ocean.  There are a lot of situations that could lead to an accident if you were not paying attention – safety is a big issue.  Hard hats are required whenever you are out on the deck; life vests are not mandatory if you are just going out on deck, but if you are dumping samples over the side or doing any climbing, they are definitely needed. The deck gets slippery and I think it would be pretty easy to go sliding down the deck and over the railing, so wearing a life vest is probably a pretty good idea all the time.

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