Jacquelyn Hams, July 27, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jacquelyn Hams
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
July 24 – August 11, 2006

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Shumagin Islands, Alaska
Date: July 27, 2006

TAS Jacquelyn Hams at the helm of the NOAA Ship RAINIER
TAS Jacquelyn Hams at the helm of the NOAA Ship RAINIER

Weather Data 
Weather: Partly cloudy
Visibility: 10+ nm
Wind direction: LT
Wind speed: AIRS
Sea wave height: 0 ft.
Swell waves direction: 160
Swell waves height: 1 ft
Seawater T: 9.4 degrees C
Sea level pressure: 1025.9 mb
Temperature Dry bulb: 11.01 degrees C
Temperature Wet bulb: 10.0 degrees C

Science and Technology Log 

ENS Sam Greenaway, RAINIER’s Navigation Officer and Kenneth Keys, RAINIER Deck Utilityman and Helmsman, gave me a lesson in navigation. I steered the ship for approximately two hours during which time I completed several turns. I learned that it is very important to steer the ship along the survey lines so that data quality is not distorted.  A few of the navigation instruments used on the RAINIER are shown below.

Rudder angle indicator
Rudder angle indicator
Gyrocompass repeater (top) and rudder angle order indicator (bottom)
Gyrocompass repeater
Electronic Chart System display
Electronic Chart System display


 Personal Log 

We are passing many of the smaller islands that make up the Shumagins. The fog has lifted and the RAINIER is approaching Porpoise Harbor, the anchoring spot for the night. The Shumagin Islands are part of the Aleutian Islands Arc system and formed by volcanic activity.  The islands provide a scenic backdrop of dramatic peaks and snow capped summits. We anchor at Porpoise Harbor off Nagai Island.

Lesson of the Day: Navigation

Terms of the Day: Rudder, fathometer

Bonus question:  What is a fathometer?

Recommended reading:  The American Practical Navigator, Bowditch Publication #9

Mitrofina Island
Mitrofina Island
View from porpoise harbor
View from porpoise harbor

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: