NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
July 11 – August 10, 2009
Mission: PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic)
Geographical area of cruise: Tropical Atlantic
Date: July 30, 2009
Weather Data from the Bridge
Outside Temperature 25.50oC
Relative Humidity 87%
Sea Surface Temperature 25.75oC
Barometric Pressure 1017.3 inches
Latitude 20 09.721 N Longitude 33 34.806 W
Science and Technology Log
On the 28th of July we did our 34th CTD and changed out our third buoy and started to steam west back towards the states. We have a break now from our 12-hour shifts and only have one more buoy to change out and only one more CTD to deploy. I wanted to write about a couple of things that I have noticed over the last couple weeks when sampling that I thought were noteworthy. The seawater we collect from 1500 feet down in the ocean, even though we are in the tropics, is still very cold. It is about 4 degrees C or 39 degrees F while the sea surface temperature is around 26 degrees C or 79 degrees F.
Another thing that is really cool is that when we are doing CTDs at night the lights from the ship attract squid and you can watch the squid chasing flying fish at the surface. The last thing that is strange, is that every once in a while even though we are hundreds of miles away from land, a butterfly or dragonfly darts around the ship. You just wonder where they have come from. Every night around 8 pm, there is meeting of all the scientists onboard. We usually get a weather briefing and then someone will give a seminar on the work they are doing. There are many links between the work that each scientist is doing on this ship and this is an important way to share ideas, get feedback and create new questions.
There is down time on the ship and I wrote about the movies earlier. We have a ping-pong table set up in the main lab where we play in our spare time. Since we are so far from any land, safety is very important on the ship. We have fire drills and abandon ship drills weekly. After the drill there is a briefing and the safety officer discusses some of the safety equipment the ship has and its use. Today we went out to the fantail and the officers demonstrated how to use flares and smoke signals.