Chuck Gregory, August 17, 2007

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Chuck Gregory
Onboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson
August 12 – 24, 2007

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: New York Harbor
Date: August 17, 2007

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Here’s the Plan of the Day (POD):
Sunrise = 0608h Sunset = 1952h
0000h Ship at Sandy Hook, NJ anchorage
0745h Launch safety brief (Survey)
0800h Deploy Launches
1745h Retrieve launches

Tides for Sandy Hook Low @ 0523h (0.3 ft.) & 1743h (0.8 ft.); High @ 1143h (4.9 ft.) & 2347h (4.5 ft.). Currents in Sandy Hook Channel Ebb: 0235h (1.6 kts.), 1501h (1.4 kts.); Flood: 0840h (1.9 kts.) & 2058h (1.6 kts.). Weather from Sandy Hook to Fire Island AM & PM: NW winds 5-10 kts., seas 2-4 ft.

Rise and shine for me was about 0630h, but the stateroom phone rang at 0300h.  Andy was soon up and out for his 0330h watch.

Our stateroom is small, but air conditioned and cozy.  It is about 16 feet long and 8 feet wide. The bunks hold two comfortably (I’m on the bottom) and each bunk has a curtain to keep the light out and the sound low. There’s a light above each bunk and a small shelf that holds my reading material, glasses and clock.  Andy even has a porthole above his bunk. Today you can see Manhattan through the porthole.  The room has a sink with odd tasting hot and cold water. Above the sink is an empty medicine cabinet.  Two sets of drawers hold our cloths and “stuff”, and what doesn’t fit in the drawers finds a home in one of two lockers. We even have a phone, TV and a refrigerator.  Last but not least is our emergency equipment: survival suits, life jackets, and emergency escape breathing devices. (Let’s hope we never have to use them!).

As I have mentioned before, adjoining our stateroom is a shared toilet and small shower.  So far I am doing quite well remembering to lock and unlock that gal’s door.  Two Ensign Megans reside next door: Ensign Megan G. who received a Bachelor’s degree from Smith, and Ensign Megan N. who is from the great state of Maine (Lewiston) and an UMaine graduate with a degree in marine biology. My goal today is to keep going with my log and do some school work. Classes start three days after I return to Maine and there is little prep time between now and then.  In short, it should be a quiet day.

I even had time to e-mail Tom Long, our Lab Technician back at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC).  Tom keeps our equipment ‘happy’, and I asked him about our side scan sonar – make, model, etc.  It turns out we have an Imagenex SportScan and Tom would like more input on possible post-survey software.  None of the folks on the THOMAS JEFFERSON have heard of Imagenex, but they were eager to offer advice about possible software.

Here’s an exciting addition form the CO, Tod Schattgen: “[Today] the boats returned to the ship at 1545 on schedule as a rather intense thunderstorm was fast approaching from the west.  The deck and boat crews quickly stored the launches on deck as lightning began to strike closer and closer to the ship.  10 minutes later the winds picked up to 20 knots with gusts to 33 knots and a band of rain passed over the ship. Rob the deck hand got a photo of a lightning striking the water on his cell phone.”

I was down below and missed all this excitement.  Bummer!

Oh, well…After a phone call to Roxann and a little TV, I was asleep by 2215h.

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