NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster
May 14 – May 24, 2012
Mission: Retrieve Acoustic Receivers
Georgraphical area of cruise: Atlantic Ocean, off coast of South Carolina
Date: May 15th, 2012
Weather Data from the Bridge: 75 degrees and sunny
Science and Technology Log
The scientists and divers arrived on the ship yesterday afternoon. They brought an incredible amount of equipment with them. The crane on board the ship loaded dive tanks, cages, and crates of equipment on the deck. Sarah Fangman, chief scientist held a meeting yesterday to introduce members of the science party. Each person introduced themselves, and told everyone what their part in this mission would be. There are eight members of the science party including myself, Teacher At Sea. I introduced myself as a seventh grade teacher from Locke Elementary School who left one hundred thirty-two seventh graders behind to experience this adventure. I told our science party that I prepared my students by showing them pictures of the ship, Teacher At Sea website, and the Gray’s Reef website. My students will be reading my blogs. School will still be in session when I return, so I will be able to share my photos and stories with them.
This morning the science team met with the operations officer of the ship, Lt. Joshua
Slater. Lt. Slater went over all the safety aspects of our upcoming mission which will take place this afternoon. We will be deploying boats off the ship to take the divers to Gray’s Reef. “Nemo” will be piloting a small craft with two divers and myself. “Nemo” will drive the boat to an exact GPS (Global Positioning System) location. The acoustical receivers all have exact locations, so divers can find them more easily. The divers will be retrieving the acoustic receivers to bring them on board the small craft. We bring the acoustic receivers on board the ship to download the data they have been collecting for the past five months.
On Sunday, May 13th, I flew from Chicago to South Carolina. I was picked up by a crew member of the ship. The ship is located on a base, so I had to get a special I.D. tag to allow me to get on base. The Nancy Foster was docked near a Coast Guard vessel, and a gigantic Naval ship.
As I boarded, I entered heavy doors, and descended a metal stairway. I was lead to my room which consists of two bunk beds which are very narrow. There are a few cabinets for my belongings. I will be sharing this room with three other women scientists. Next, I opened the door to the “head” which has two bathrooms and three showers. There are bars in toilets and showers so you can hang on which the ship is moving. The kitchen is right across from my room. There are coffee, juice, water, and ice machines. The cabinets are stocked with cereal, snacks, peanut butter, and bread. There is an ice cream freezer. You can help yourself to snack items. Two cooks run the kitchen. The menus are posted for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yesterday, I had delicious turkey soup with rice and a salad. For dinner I had teriyaki Cornish hen, asparagus, and rice. There was pecan pie for dessert. Trust me, the food is great!!! F0od scraps are kept separate from other garbage, because it is used as fish food. I am sure there will be lots of fish coming by the ship to sample.
The crew members live on board the ship. There are flat screen T.V.’s, a workout room, a lounge area, and a “steel beach” on the top deck. Yesterday evening I took my blanket to sleep on a chair on the “steel beach”. The sky was filled with stars, and I fell asleep. A while later, one of the crew woke me up. Lighting was spotted in the distance. I am not a fan of lightning so I went to my room. The ship is like a giant waterbed rocking and rolling gently. My small bed has a bar to keep me from falling off. I am really trying to get my “sea legs”, but in the mean time I continue to hang on so I don’t fall over.