NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier
June 15 – July 2, 2009
Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 15, 2009
Weather Data from the Bridge
Visibility 10 nautical miles
Wind from 170° at 2 knots
Sea Temp 7.2° C
Air temperature: 13.3°C dry bulb; 10°C wet bulb
Pressure 1015.2 mb
Science and Technology Log
Safety is of the utmost importance on all NOAA vessels at all times. New crew members are required to go through safety training upon arrival. The training covers important details that include breathing devices to use in a fire emergency, correct procedure for donning survival suits, entry into life rafts, and lowering and raising launches. Survival suits, life vests, hard hats, and float jackets were issued at our safety meeting. We were taken on an orientation of the ship, during which we were shown our muster stations for fire, man overboard, and abandon ship emergencies.
The training video depicting the deployment and recovery of the launches was fascinating from a physics standpoint. Although we will not be handling any of the lines or equipment, there is safety protocol to be followed during this activity.
Everyone on board the ship has been very friendly and helpful. My roommate is NOAA Corps Ensign Marina Kosenko. The NOAA Corps is actually the smallest of the seven uniformed services. She has been with NOAA since August of 2008. She was an astrophysics major at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she received a scholarship from NOAA that paid for her junior and senior year of college. She interned at a NOAA lab in Miami, Florida. While in Miami, she met a NOAA Corps officer that interested her in the NOAA Corps. After receiving her BS, she applied to NOAA Corps, was accepted and went to training a year later in New York, New York. Upon completion of the four month training program, she became an ensign and was assigned to the Rainier. Ensign Kosenko’s duties aboard the ship include assistant medical officer, assistant damage control officer, movie and morale officer, assistant sound velocity officer, discharge slip officer in addition to standing anchor watch, and 12-4 bridge watch when underway. During bridge watch she serves as Conn and ensures safe navigation of the ship with the assistance of the Officer of the Deck.
Ensign Kosenko has taken me under her wing and been a terrific roommate! She is also teaching a great deal about many facets of her job.
Hundreds of red jellyfish surrounded the ship after the engines were powered up and we prepared to get underway.
I counted 81 sea otters as we were leaving Kodiak. The otters were extremely playful and most were swimming on their backs. It was amazing to see so many of them wishing us bon voyage.
While up on the flying bridge, the deck above the bridge, we were watching for whales. Steve Foye was very helpful in helping us to look for “blows”. (Whales are spotted by seeing the water blown into the air, hence the term.) Once we knew what to look for, they were easier to spot. Although we were too excited to count, there must have been between 15 and 20 sightings, but we were not close enough to see their bodies.