NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
September 13 – 29, 2013
Mission: Shark and Red Snapper Bottom Longline Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: September 16, 2013
Weather Data from the Bridge:
Barometric Pressure: 1014.01mb
Sea Temperature: 28.8˚Celsius
Air Temperature: 29.9˚C
Wind speed: 19.22 knots
Science and Technology Log:
We left Galveston a little before 2pm on Sunday, September 15. We were in transit to our first sampling location and should arrive there around 8pm tonight. Depending on the conditions we might actually be able to do some fishing tonight!
Today we went through our abandon ship drill. The ship’s alarm is used to alert everyone on board in the event of an emergency. Abandon ship is indicated by 7 short rings followed by one long ring of the alarm. When the alarm sounds with the abandon ship signal, we must carry our survival suits, personal flotation devices (PFDs), long pants, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt to the well deck, at the bow (front) of the ship. My survival suit and personal flotation device (PFD) are kept in cabinets in my room. The survival suit is tricky to get on and it gets very, very warm when you are wearing it!
During this initial transit, there hasn’t been much for me to do. I spent a lot of time sleeping on Sunday. The way the waves rock the ship back and forth makes me very sleepy! I have taken a few short naps today in order to be ready in case we do any fishing on the later part of my shift tonight. I am on the day shift which means I will work noon to midnight. I think it will take me some time to get used to staying up that late but I think these naps will help! As we start fishing the days will be much busier for me so staying awake will be easy I hope. The views off of the ship are amazing. I was surprised to see how blue the water gets.
My stateroom is very comfortable and I have plenty of space in drawers and cabinets for everything I brought with me. I am getting used to latching doors and drawers behind me so they do not slam back and forth as the ship rocks. On the ship there is always someone sleeping so everyone works hard to be courteous and stay quiet.
My roommate is an officer on the ship so we are usually in the room at different times. Officers on NOAA ships are part of the NOAA Corps. Roommates are usually assigned based on the shifts people are working so each person has some time alone in the room. As we start fishing more I will bring my computer and other items I might want throughout the day into one of the labs on the ship so I won’t have to go in and out of the room when my roommate might be sleeping. The curtains are helpful in blocking out any light that might prevent you from sleeping. The showers are right next to my room which is convenient and the common head (bathroom) is just around the corner.
There are plenty of food choices in the galley on the ship and everything has been delicious. In the mornings you can even get eggs made to order! I certainly don’t think I will be going hungry!
Did You Know?
Even in the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico, hypothermia is risk due to the difference in water temperature and our body temperatures. The survival suit helps to protect our bodies from the difference in temperature.