Jessica Schwarz, June 27, 2006


NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jessica Schwarz
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
June 19 – July 1, 2006

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Alaska
Date: June 27, 2006

Sonar image of a shipwreck

Sonar image of a shipwreck

Personal Log 

Just when I think I’m getting the hang of things on the ship…. I was working at the computer when I heard myself being paged over the intercom, “TAS dial 128”, “TAS dial 128”. I looked around and didn’t see a phone so I wondered up to the galley. The crew is prepared for the TAS to be confused and lost most of the time I think, so it doesn’t take long after a confused look on your face to get some help.

I was being paged because the CO wondered if I’d like to take a boat ride over to Redoubt Lake where the sockeye salmon are spawning.  I hurried down to my stateroom to grab some warm clothing and made my way to the fantail (stern of the boat) where the skiffs are tied.

Redoubt Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake that sits just above sea level on one of the nearby islands. There were several other boats anchored in the bay, one of which had two men fishing for sockeye.  The CO cast a line in as well, but I guess the salmon weren’t biting today.  On our way back, I got to drive the skiff…remember the skiffs go much faster than the survey launches. The one we were riding in today can get up to 45 knots. I didn’t drive it that fast though.

Sonar image of a sunken airplane!

Sonar image of a sunken airplane!

We saw a harbor seal poke its nose out of the water. That was really cool! I’ve seen pictures some of the crew has taken, where they are resting on land. Pretty amazing! When I came back to the ship I headed up to the plotting room where Physical Scientist Shyla Allan showed me some amazing sonar images.  I’ve included a couple in this log for everyone to see. I was very impressed by how detailed the images are!

Later on that evening, I went for another boat ride on one of RAINIER’s skiffs with ENS Megan McGovern, OS Megan Guberski, and ST Erin Campbell.  We headed back over to Redoubt Lake. We spent time watching the salmon jumping.  Pretty incredible! Tomorrow we will be underway and heading across the Gulf to Kodiak Island!  Think good thoughts of calm seas and settled stomachs for me.

ENS Megan McGovern, TAS Jessica Schwarz, and ST Erin Campbell are spending their evening on the skiff to watch the salmon jump in Redoubt Bay in Southeast Alaska.

ENS Megan McGovern, TAS Jessica Schwarz, and ST Erin Campbell are spending their evening on the skiff to watch the salmon jump in Redoubt Bay in Southeast Alaska.

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