NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada
[July 2-10, 2018]
Mission: ACCESS Cruise
Geographic Area of Cruise: North Pacific: Greater Farallones Nation Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Weather Data from the Bridge.
|Date||July 3 2018|
|Latitude||37° 49.5’ N|
|Longitude||122° 48.1’ W|
|Present Weather/ Sky||Cloudy|
|Wind Direction (tree)||172°|
|Wind Speed (kts)||12|
|Atmospheric Pressure (mb)||1027|
|Sea Wave Height (ft)||N/A|
|Swell Waves Direction (true)||290°|
|Swell Waves Height (ft)||3-5|
|Temperature Sea Water (C)||13.6°|
|Temp Dry bulb (C)
|Temp Wet Bulb (C )||11.9°|
Science and Technology Log
After leaving San Francisco Bay, yesterday we headed west and spent the day getting our “sea legs” and collecting observations of marine mammals and birds in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary waters. We began collecting data around 1300 hrs from 37° 47′ 52.4“ N 122° 53’ 31.2” W and headed west towards the continental shelf break approximately 30 miles off shore.
Throughout the day we followed a series of predetermined tracks (referred to as transects) and collected counts of the abundant life thriving in the sanctuary. We saw numerous Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpbacks and dolphins. We also had a sighting of a strange prehistoric looking fish called a Mola mola (common name: Ocean Sunfish). Mola Mola are the largest bony fish in the world and are playfully described small dinner plates and can grow to as large as a smart car. They tend to live in deep water so seeing one at the surface is a real treat. Their distinctive dorsal and ventral fins are quite long and their pectoral fins (the ones on the sides) are quite short and stubby. They dine on jelly fish and need to eat a lot in order to develop and sustain their substantial bulk. Members of the ACCESS survey team have observed Mola slurping up Velella velella ( common name: Sea Raft) a type of free-floating hydrozoan that lives on the ocean surface.
My free time has been getting accustomed to being at sea again and getting to know my new colleagues. The internet onboard is very limited and we have 40 users sharing it so getting blogs out is proving to be more challenging than I’d anticipated
Did You Know?
The terms “port” and “starboard” are used as to indicate the left and right sides of a ship. “Starboard” comes from the Old English “steorbord”, meaning the side on which the ship is steered. Before rudders (which are located in the centerline), early ships had a steering oar and because most people are right handed it was located on the right hand side of the ship. Because the steering oar needed to be out of the way when docking the opposite side of the boat traditionally was the side that was closest to the pier. Hence “port” refers to the left side of a ship if you are looking towards the front of the ship. The front of a ship is called a “bow”.