NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
August 10 – 25, 2012
Mission: Shark Longline Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: Monday, August 13, 2012
Weather Data from the Bridge:
Air temperature: 30.3 degrees C
Sea temperature: 30.8 degrees C
1/8ths cloud cover
10 miles of visibility
0-1 foot wave height
Wind speed 2.4 knots
Wind direction NNE
Lightning visible in clouds to the east
Science and Technology Log:
I love learning new things! We watched a video about how to set up a longline and how to stay safe. A longline is just what it sounds like – a very long fishing line, a full nautical mile worth of fishing line. Because we are surveying for sharks and other big fish, the line is very thick and the hooks are big! Nothing like I used to fish for supper when I was 12…
I will start working with the Science Crew at 12 noon today. We will work 12 hour shifts, so I will have to stay awake and working until 12 pm or 00 hour in Military time, which is based on a 24 hour day so that you can’t get confused about a.m. or p.m. My roommate Karen will work the opposite shift. This way it will be like we both have our own room when we are not working. This will make it easier to sleep and also give us some time to be alone since it is hard to be alone on a small ship.
Karen is from Bogota, Colombia. She is working in the NOAA Panama City Florida Lab conducting data entry and analysis. She thinks she wants to work with genetics to help with the conservation of marine mammals, like whales and seals. If you want to be a research scientist you need to finish college, go to graduate school for a masters and often get your doctorate degree. That is like finishing 20th grade or more. Many of the other folks on the Science Team are also students at various stages of their schooling. Some volunteered to be here to help with their resume or to explore what part of science they want to work in.
Some people asked about how I am doing with motion sickness. I seem to be doing fine as long as I don’t spend too much time at the computer. Ten minutes of scrolling or typing leads to a headache and queasiness. I am happiest up on the top deck watching the water. To help stop seasickness, it is good to look at the horizon.
The Oregon II
So like in any city, the Oregon II has a four star restaurant. It is run by Chefs Paul and Walter. They turn out three square meals a day, including several different choices for entrees a great salad bar and often homemade cakes or cookies. If your shift means that you will miss a meal, you can sign up on a board and they will make a plate for you and leave it in the refrigerator with your name on it. There are always gallons of tea and coffee, Gatorade and water to make sure that everyone stays hydrated.
If you eat as much as I seem to be eating, it is a good thing that there is a gym available too! Exercise equipment is tucked away in a few corners of the ship. I have good intentions of testing this out. So far I get my exercise walking around the vessel and up and down the stairs to get to different levels of the ship. Maybe I will find the line setting and haul back to be good exercise…
Next up will be line setting and haul back! Sharks and groupers and ????