NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
September 25 – October 22, 2005
Mission: Climate Observation and Buoy Deployment
Geographical Area: Southeast Pacific
Date: October 13, 2005
Weather Data from Bridge
Temperature: 25.5 degrees C
Clouds cover: 6/8, stratus, altocumulus
Visibility: 12 nm
Wind direction: 245 degrees
Wind speed: 13kts.
Wave height: 3 – 5’
Swell wave height: 3 – 5’
Seawater Temperature: 28.7 degrees C
Sea level Atmospheric pressure: 1005 mb
Relative Humidity: 82%
Science and Technology Log
We are holding on station today as the data from the Stratus 4 buoy is downloaded and analyzed. I helped out on the fantail for a couple of hours today. We were rearranging the positions of the Stratus 4 and 5 buoys. These are large, heavy devices that can only be moved by crane and winches. The buoy waiting for deployment is now on the portside of the fantail, is strapped down, activated, and awaiting deployment. The buoy we retrieved yesterday is tucked in next to the starboard side crane. This doesn’t sound like a big thing, but each buoy is very heavy and the deck is moving up and down six feet and rocking side to side every few seconds. We go slowly and are very deliberate.
Jeff Lord is setting up for deployment of the Stratus 5 buoy and its array of instruments. The buoy will be launched, followed by the mooring and its attached instruments, and lastly the 9000-pound anchor will be deployed over the stern of the ship. Before this a Sea Beam survey of the ocean floor has to be accomplished to help Dr. Weller choose the site of the Straus 5 deployment. I am continuously amazed by the thorough planning that has been done for this venture.
I’m sitting on the foredeck of the BROWN as I write this entry. It’s once again a partly sunny day and I am sitting out of the wind enjoying the sunshine. I realize that I haven’t seen a jet contrail since we crossed the equator. Yesterday I did see a whale spout at about of a quarter mile out and there was a fishing boat about four miles away. Except for a few birds the view is of ocean and sky. We had an abandon-ship drill Tuesday and the captain announced that the nearest land is some Argentine islands over 400 miles away. We are out there.