Weather Data from the Bridge
Science and Technology:
On a lighter note, yesterday I was able to tag my first shark. The sandbar shark was large enough to be brought up in the cradle. The Chief Scientist made the slit just below the dorsal fin, while two other assistants held the shark in place. I did not get the tag in on the first try, but finally did get it into position. The shark’s skin was so tough and full of razor-like scales. If a shark’s tail slaps and hits you, it can leave a burn-like mark that is very painful. Hopefully I will not have that experience while I’m here. Tagging the shark was amazing and frightening all at the same time. I was very aware that I needed to get it done quickly before the shark became restless. A shark’s movements are swift and powerful and you don’t want to be in their way. Everyone out here has a great respect for these animals and appreciates the beautiful creatures that they are. I, too, am learning what they already know.
I almost never know where to begin as I write a blog. There is always so much going on, so much to see, learn, and write about, it is sometimes overwhelming. I always have questions for everyone here and they are willing to take the time to answer them with great detail. Today the Chief Scientist was explaining to me about the swim bladder on a particular fish that we pulled out at one of the stations. One of the lessons in the ocean unit is about swim bladders, so I was very curious to hear more about them. After listening to him, I came away with a better understanding, which I will be able to share with my students.
Well, we all like to eat and if you like really good food and lots of variety, the Oregon II is the place to be. Our chef served in the Navy as a Culinary Specialist and upon retiring joined NOAA. You can tell he loves his job and that he’s not just cooking. He creates meals that tickle all of your taste buds and some you never knew you had. No one misses mealtime around here. And if you think you may, he will put a plate aside for you so that you don’t miss his luscious meal. If you’re sitting in the mess hall you hear lots of “thank you’s” and if you look at the chef, you will see a wide, proud smile on his face.
When I can, I try to head up to the bridge to learn about all the complicated and sophisticated electronics that this ship is furnished with. The equipment provides a staggering amount of information that the officers must analyze prior to making decisions about how to manuever their way from station to station. I was told that it is very unlikely a NOAA ship can get lost at sea. There are multiple systems in place, so that if one fails, there is at least one other to take its place. Even though the ship has navigational and radar systems, the officers continue to use paper nautical charts as a backup. The Captain and all of the officers who sail this ship love what they do and put safety for everyone above all else.
“Answer to the Question of the Day”
The wet lab of the ship is where the scientists process marine life and store supplies they will need to work with while they are out to sea. In the dry lab you will find computers that are used entering data and for general communications.
“Question of the Day” Is there a fish that really flies?