Kimberly Pratt, July 5, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kimberly Pratt
Onboard NOAA Ship McArthur II
July 2 – 24, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Wildlife Survey
Geographical Area: Elliot Bay, Seattle
Date: July 5, 2005

Kim Pratt in her survival suit
Kim Pratt in her survival suit

Weather Data from Bridge

Latitude: 47.37.2’ N
Longitude: 122.22.3’W
Visibility: 8-10
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Sea Wave Height: 1-2 ft
Sea Swell Height: 0
Sea Level Pressure: 1012.2
Cloud Cover: 8/8, AS, AC
Temperature:  20 Celsius

Scientific Log

Chief Scientist Karin Forney called all the scientists together for our first meeting at 0930 in the dry lab.  She gave an overview of the schedule of operations for our cruise and explained the day’s activities which were drills, CDT calibration, and scientist set-up and prep. The CDT or Conductivity, Temperature/Depth devices are used to get readings of salinity, temperature, depth, density and conductivity of the ocean water.  The CDT will be lowered to 500 meters when deployed.  Scientists also set-up their stations and  prepared for their busy days ahead. I worked with Rich Pagan, Sophie Webb, and Peter Pyle to create range finders out of pencils.  The range finders will help them determine whether the birds they observe are at 300, 200 or 100 meter distance.

Seabird illustrations, Sophie Webb
Seabird illustrations, Sophie Webb

Personal Log

Beautiful fireworks, warm weather and a wonderful array of boats showed Seattle in its glory! I spent the evening on board the McARTHUR which had an awesome view of the fireworks. What a send off for our cruise the next day.

I awoke to the smell of breakfast cooking and looked forward to today’s launch. We left Seattle, at 0930, and headed out of Lake Union.  After motoring through two draw bridges – the Fremont Bridge and the Ballard Bridge, we then got a special treat by going through the government locks – or the Hiram M. Chittam locks.  Locks are used to raise or lower water levels to allow passage from one body of water to another.  In this case, we were leaving Lake Union (freshwater) and going to Elliot Bay (salt water).  We waited patiently as the gates closed, and the water lowered us down for passage into Elliot Bay.  Upon leaving Elliot Bay, we dropped anchor to start the CDT calibration.  We then had an abandon ship drill in which I had to put on a very funny orange suit, affectionately know as Gumby suits.  As soon as it was donned, Chief Scientist Forney and Jan Rolleto ran to get their cameras because I looked so comical.  Finally, we had a fire drill and then the scientists set to work.  It was really fun working with Rich, Jim and Sophie. Sophie Webb has published two children’s books, Looking for Seabirds and My Season with Penguins, which are very well done and illustrated.  Recommended reading….. Right now, we’re still anchored in Elliot Bay with a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle and Mt. Rainer. Tonight we’ll head off to the ocean and all the wonders we will see.

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