NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
August 31 – September 14, 2018
Mission: Shark/Red Snapper Longline Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: September 2nd, 2018
Weather Data from the Bridge:
- Latitude: 27.16233N
- Longitude: 94.45417W
- Wind speed: 10 Knots
- Wind direction: South
- Sky cover: Scattered
- Visibility: 10 miles
- Barometric pressure: 1012.5 atm
- Sea wave height: 3 feet
- Sea Water Temp: 30.9 °C
- Dry Bulb: 29.4°C
- Wet Bulb: 26.0°C
Science and Technology Log:
When one hears that there is an ET aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II, they might imagine E.T., the extra terrestrial, wearing a sailor hat and driving the boat. Fortunately for everyone aboard, E.T. is not driving the boat and the ET aboard the Oregon II is Lester S. Andreasen. Lester, known as Les, is a rotational Electronic Technician (ET). Les is responsible for the network and communication while out at sea. He also provides support to the NOAA scientists by assisting them in maintaining shipboard scientific data collection.
Prior to his career aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II, Les was in the Navy for 23 years. His first station right out of boot camp was Key West, FL. That is where he learned about navigational radar, and preformed corrective and preventative maintenance on electronics on the unique squadron of Patrol Hydrofoil Missiles (PHMs). Les started in the Navy as an electronic technician seaman (E3), and worked his way to a command master chief (E9). When he left the Navy he began his career aboard dynamic positioning ships. When the oil field began to struggle, Les was hired by NOAA.
Les describes NOAA Ship Oregon II as a “fun ship”, as he really enjoys the people. He finds it fascinating to see how the crew interacts with the scientists while completing the shark surveys. Les’s advice to anyone who wants to pursue a career as an ET would be to study computer science, mathematics, or computer engineering. I guess he is a little like E.T. the extra terrestrial, because without Les we wouldn’t be able to ‘Phone Home’ and talk to our families or anyone on shore.
We have been cruising for two days now, and won’t start fishing until tonight. Since I have had some extra time on my hands, I got to try out the nifty workout equipment. I did a circuit of 2 minutes on the bike, 20 kettle bell swings, and 10 dumbbell squats. I completed 10 rounds. Then I proceeded to the stern where I did planks, sit-ups, and stretched. It was very relaxing to be able to look out over the water. I didn’t even feel like I was working out because it was so peaceful.
We also ran ship drills so everyone is prepared on where to go in an emergency situation. Aboard any ship, safety is the number one goal. I feel more comfortable knowing that I will have a suit and life jacket on if I need to abandon the ship.
Did You Know?:
The NOAA fishermen stated that they have seen killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Gulf of Mexico. Normally this species is found in colder water, but according the NOAA Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report (2012) there were approximately 28 killer whales reported in the Gulf of Mexico in 2009.
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)
Flying Fish (Exocoetus peruvianus)