NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
July 23 – August 11, 2006
Mission: Hydrographic Survey of the Shumagin Islands
Geographical Area: Alaska
Date: July 28, 2006
Weather from the Bridge
Skies: Partly cloudy (PC)
Visibility: 10 nautical miles (nm)
Wind Direction: Southwest
Wind Speed: 18 knots
Waves: 1-2 feet
Sea Water Temp. (°C): 10
Sea Level Pressure: 1024.0 millibars (mb)
Temp. (°C): 15 (air temperature)
Science and Technology Log
We finally anchored later yesterday afternoon in Porpoise Harbor. It’s nice to have the ship in one place after 4 days of being underway. I seem to be adjusting much better to the motion of the ocean. Today began with the first two launches going out at 0800 to begin the small boat surveying of this leg of RAINIER’S journey. As long as the weather is good and there are no major issues with the survey launches, the boats stay out working from 0800 until 1630.
The smaller launches are able to cover areas that are shallower than the water’s the ship was surveying the other day since they have slightly different technology on them and because of their smaller size. Each of the two launches had four people on them, a coxswain who drove the boat, and three other people who assisted with the hydrography surveying. One of the people is the head hydrographer, one works the computers that are collecting the data, and the other assists. Each day that launches go out, the people aboard them will rotate. I’ll have my first chance at going on a survey launch in a few days. I’ll likely have a better understanding of the technical aspect of the hydrography once I’m actually on a launch.
I volunteered myself to join a launch boat that was heading to a small fishing village called Sand Point on the western side of Popof Island about 20 nautical miles away. We left the ship at 1100 after getting water out of the launch. Our ride to the village was a bit choppy since the wind was coming towards us and the waves were a bit higher. It was very cloudy until we turned a bend. All of a sudden, the sky was clearing and the water was calming. As we reached the village, it was totally sunny and calm. YAY!! We only had about an hour in the village since our main reason for being there was to pick up a crewmember that had been on loan to another NOAA ship, the OSCAR DYSON. It was great to just walk for a bit and eat some wild ripened salmonberries.
As we made our way back to the ship still anchored in Porpoise Harbor, the sunny, clear skies followed us. What gorgeous scenery! There were also lots of puffins that flew over the water surface as we startled them going by in the boat. They’re such cute and funny looking birds with their chubby bodies and colorful beaks. Some of them had little tufts of yellow feathers on the tops of their heads. We also had a couple of whale sightings in the distance. One was close enough that I could’ve taken a decent picture if I had had my camera ready. Oh well. We had a special treat when we arrived back on the ship. It was close to dinnertime and we were pleasantly surprised with a feast of the fresh halibut that Lt. Ben Evans (acting Executive Officer–XO) caught yesterday morning. The cooks did a great job preparing the fish. Thanks to the XO and the kitchen!
Who’s Who on the NOAA ship RAINIER?
Marta Krynytzky, an Assistant Hydrography Survey Technician, is the newest crewmember aboard the NOAA ship RAINIER. This is her first cruise on the RAINIER as well as working for NOAA. Marta finished her Bachelor of Science degree in June 2005 in oceanography, specializing in marine geology and geophysics at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. After finishing college, she worked two cruises for Raytheon Polar Services Company. Her first cruise was to Antarctica as an intern aboard a ship called the Nathaniel B. Palmer. Her second cruise, also to Antarctica, was aboard the Lawrence M. Gould where she worked as a marine technician. Marta says that, despite how physically challenging the work can be aboard a ship, the two previous cruises she’s worked on were half female.
Marta enjoys doing fieldwork, which is one of the reasons she wanted to work for NOAA. She looks forward to seeing different places and trying different positions within NOAA. When she’s not working, Marta enjoys hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, skateboarding, canoeing, and surfing. From her experience, Marta believes there are a few important requirements for the kind of work she does. As far as coursework, she believes a strong math background is important. In addition, computer skills are needed as well as having working knowledge of programs such as Excel for organizing data, preparing spreadsheets, and creating graphs and charts. Another important quality for working on a ship is being able to work as a team with other people. Much of the work involved living and working on the ship is not done independently. Everyone relies on everyone else to keep the ship running smoothly so the objectives of the ship can be met.
I wish Marta the best of luck on her new career with NOAA!!