NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship McArthur II
July 2 – 24, 2005
Mission: Ecosystem Wildlife Survey
Geographical Area: Pacific Northwest
Date: July 10, 2005
Crew Interviews: Interview with the Engineering Dept.
The Engineering Department onboard the McARTHUR II is really amazing. They are responsible for many of the operations on board. They maintain and operate the 4 generators that provide all the electricity. One generator can power 10, 075 light bulbs! The electric/diesel engine has 3400 HP and consumes 2,850 gallons of fuel a day. The ship that was built in 1984 was originally a Navy spy ship, spying on submarines. The ship also makes its own water by taking in sea water, boiling it, letting it evaporate, treating it, and then it can be used by everyone on the ship. The ship processes approx. 2400 gallons of water and 2200 gallons are used, so a 2 day reserve is kept on board. The ship also has a machine shop to fix or create parts that my break down while out at sea. The ship has two propellers and its top speed is 11.5 knots.
The ship can go 90 days at 3 knots. The ship has 7 levels including the fly bridge. The person in charge of the Engineering Department is Jay Prueher who is the Chief Engineer. He’s worked for NOAA for 10 years and has a total of 20 years in Alaska. His favorite ports are Sitka and Juneau. What he likes best about ship life is no commute and dislikes being away from his family. His wife, who won the Washington State lottery, resides in their home in the Cascade Mountains with their 6 cats and 6 dogs. During his time off, he likes to visit his daughter in warm and dry Tennessee. He really likes this department because all the engineers work together to envision what the scientists need to complete their mission. Then they plan to make it real. Even though Jay does enjoy his job, he plans to retire in 1 year, 11 months and 13 days, to spend time with his family in their beautiful home.
Thanks to all the engineering staff for touring me around and teaching me about the ship.