NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
July 24 – August 11, 2006
Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Shumagin Islands, Alaska
Date: July 24, 2006
Science and Technology Log
The RAINIER will depart today at 1600 for the Shumagin Islands. This morning all visitors and new personnel onboard were given a safety orientation by Kenneth Keys, Deck Utilityman. I decide to put on my sea sick patch after breakfast just in case the seas get rough.
One of the most important orders of business for the day was to receive Survival Suits and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) from Ken. In addition, Ken issued hard hats and life jackets. I must admit, the idea of having to wear a Survival Suit was sobering. The suit was so tight that I could barely breathe. But, as Ken pointed out, the idea was to stay alive and not swallow salt water. Visitors and new personnel were also required to view the videocassettes listed below:
- “Right to Know” – about hazardous waste materials and proper handling
- “Asbestos Awareness” – about the proper handling and identification of asbestos
- “OCENCO EEBD” – Emergency Escape Breathing Devices used aboard the RAINIER.
At 1300, the TAS met with the Surveying Department to go over surveying techniques and a schedule for this leg. Surveying crew members recommended that I read “Coast Pilot #9, part of a NOAA reference for sailors. Part of the NOAA mission is to update the Coast Pilot book series to maintain accuracy. At 1600 the RAINIER departed Kodiak Island.
1600 Readings Weather Data
Weather: CL (cloudy) F (fog)
Barometer: 992 mB
Visibility: 4 nm (nautical miles)
Sea Wave height: 8.9 ft
Temperature in degrees C: 12.8
Wet Bulb T: 11.7 degrees C
Dry Bulb T: 12.8 degrees C
Speed: AIRS on departure
Speed at 1700: 4 knots
The RAINIER’s course allowed me to see more spectacular scenery and the marine wildlife was abundant. We saw lots of otters and whales. When I retired for bed, the RAINIER was cruising in Kupreanof Strait. This has been a special day and the seas have been a lot calmer than anticipated.
The crewmembers of the RAINIER are very interesting and come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them are on second and third careers and have interesting stories to tell. I am particularly struck by how young the officers look! This is a sure sign that I am getting old.