Jeff Lawrence, May 26, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jeff Lawrence
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
May 22 – June 2, 2006

Mission: Hydrography survey
Geographical area of cruise: Alaska
Date: May 26, 2006

several of the deck crewmembers recovering RA 1 back to the RAINIER for the day.
several of the deck crewmembers recovering RA 1 back to the RAINIER for the day.

Weather Data from Bridge
Visibility: 10.0 miles
Wind direction: 70 degrees ENE
Wind Speed:  3 knots
Sea level pressure: 1016 mb
Present weather: overcast 1400’ clouds above ground
Temperature:  50 deg. wet/dry 52 deg.

Science and Technology Log 

Today the ship will raise anchor and head for Biorka Island.  First the crew will have to secure the temporary tide station equipment and make sure all the lines have been completed for the Wrangell Narrows.  While onboard I have had the chance to meet all of the crew of the RAINIER. The Chief Boatswain is Steve Foye and he has been a part of NOAA for 20 years now. He has served on many ships and is now on the RAINIER.  His duties include making sure all boat launches are conducted in a timely and safe manner.  When boats finish their day Steve and his crew are responsible for getting the boats back onboard the RAINIER for the night.  They also make sure the boats are fueled and ready for the next days work. Without Steve and the other deck hands little would get accomplished throughout the day. Steve is chief of the deck and is helped by

  • Able Bodied Seamen: Leslie Abramson, Jodie Edmond, and Jonathan Anderson
  • Ordinary Seamen: Dennis Brooks and Megan Guberski
  • General Vessel Assistant: Kelson Baird
  • Deck Utility Man: Kenneth Keys
  • Seaman Surveyors: Carl Verplank and Corey Muzzey
  • Boatswain Group Leader: Erik Davis
Steve Foye, Chief of the Deck Crew and admirer of nature!
Steve Foye, Chief of the Deck Crew and admirer of nature!

As you can tell it takes a lot of people working together to make sure the RAINIER gets boats in and out of the water, to their destinations, and ready for the next day.  The crew aboard the RAINIER are very skilled in what they do. Steve is also very interested in the local wildlife, marine mammals, and fauna of the Alaskan coastline.  He has had many years of experience in identifying the wildlife of this area. Anytime there happens to be wildlife near the ship, Steve is quick to tell me about it so that I can photograph the animals.  Chief Foye has a wealth of documents from the Alaskan Wildlife and Fisheries Department that help to identify the varying wildlife in the area. While onboard the RAINIER I have had the opportunity to view three Northern Sea Lions, two Alaskan Black Bears, numerous Sitka Black-Tailed Deer, a Dall’s Porpoise, many species of ducks and other birds, including the American Bald Eagle. I’ve only been aboard for 5 days and have taken numerous photos of local wildlife that I can share when with students when I return to Oklahoma.  Chief Foye has sat down with me to help me identify all the wildlife I’ve seen so far and pointed out some that he still expects to see on our way to Biorka Island.

Tomorrow we leave for Biorka Island and I am told that there is a good chance we will spot various species of porpoises and maybe a few whales. We should arrive at Biorka Island sometime Saturday afternoon where the crew will begin readying their plans for running lines of that area.

Personal Log 

Today I roamed through the ship talking to people aboard the RAINIER with various jobs. I learned many specifics about each of the crew and their responsibilities and also learned a little about them personally. The RAINIER has a good mix of people who seem to work well together.  All the crew’s members have treated me very well and I am enjoying my time aboard the RAINIER.

Questions of the Day 

Can you name 10 marine mammals that can found in Alaskan waters sometime throughout the year?

Can you name land mammals that can found in Alaska?

Can you name 10 bird species that live or migrate to Alaska?


Leave a Reply