Stephanie Wally, August 31, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Stephanie Wally
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
August 29 – September 10, 2005

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska
Date: August 31, 2005

Tide Staff Installation
Tide Staff Installation

Weather Data from Bridge 

Time: 1400
Cloud Cover: Low Clouds
Visibility: 10 nm (nautical miles)
Wind: 340°, 4 knots
Sea Wave Height: 0’
Swell Wave Height: 0’
Sea Water Temperature: 5.0°C
Sea Level Pressure: 1009.2 mb (millibars)
Temp: 11.7°C

Science and Technology Log 

The crew of RAINIER has been upbeat since yesterday’s successful installation of a tide gauge on an island close to the face of the Columbia Glacier.  Data from the temporary tide gauge will be collected to analyze changes in water level.  It is important to know the water level since other portions of the ship’s current mission depend on surveying the bottom in shallow depths.

The officers, surveyors, divers, coxswains, and crew worked together to ensure all aspects of the gauge were installed and operating correctly.  The weather proved to be the biggest challenge in the installation procedure.  We had periods of heavy rain, stormy seas, and near-freezing temperatures.  Thanks to our foul-weather gear, snack supply, alternating breaks, and sheer dedication of the team, we all returned safe and sound to RAINIER. We were welcomed by the CO, XO, and a warm meal from the galley crew.

Today we returned to the island in fairer weather to take bearings of the NOAA bench marks we laid in the rock.  By triangulating the position of each disc, their location can be recorded for future surveying and exploration.  Even though Global Positioning System (GPS) technology provides the station location, it is important to have a back up means of finding these bench marks in the future.  Who will look after our tidal gauge and bench marks while we continue our transit toward Valdez?  Hopefully the harbor seals, otters, and bald eagles!

Answer to yesterday’s question: 180° = South

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