Maronda Hastie: Time to Meet My Shipmates, August 30, 2022

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Maronda Hastie

Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II

August 28 – September 14, 2022

Date: Monday August 29, 2022 & Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Mission: Shark/Red Snapper Bottom Longline Survey

Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico

Weather Data:

Lows/Highs = 75 degrees – 88 degrees Fahrenheit
Wave Height = 1’6″ – 1’8″ Northeast
Wind Speed = 3 – 14 mph
Humidity = 71%
Barometric Pressure = 29.97″ HG
Sky = Sunny

Science Log

On Monday, August 30, 2022, I met my shipmates in Cape Canaveral in front of the ship. We all had to take a self-administered Covid-19 test and wait 30 minutes for the results to appear on the sensor. I was so nervous staring at the apparatus every 5 seconds waiting for the light to brighten on a negative result. That was too much stress! What if it said positive? Would I have to head back to Atlanta or wait a few days? Once the ship leaves the dock, then it does not disembark until the end of the research project. That would have been a disaster! Luckily my results were negative! I was able to board the 170 feet ship NOAA Oregon II, locate my room and take a quick tour.

This ship’s homeport is Pascagoula, Mississippi and conducts a variety of research surveys in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. The surveys focus on fisheries, marine mammals, and plankton. Commanding Officer Eric Johnson can lead his staff for up to 33 days at a time. The following are the maximum numbers for the staff.

Commissioned Officers/Mates = 5, Licensed Engineers = 3, Unlicensed Engineers = 2, Deck = 6, Stewards = 2, Electronic Technician = 1, Total Crew = 19, Scientists = 12. Up to 12 people can sit in the dining area at one time with 6 people spread amongst 2 tables.

The ship is equipped with a 275 square feet wet lab, 210 square feet hydro lab, 100 square feet bio lab, 75 square feet computer lab, 4 dive team equipment, 2 cranes, a cradle, trawl nets, hydraulics, ropes, long line fishing gear, a medical treatment room, a laundry room, and a rescue boat that can hold 6 people.

We had to wait for 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel to fill the ship, stock the kitchen, and get other necessary supplies. Can you calculate how much this gas costs in your city? There are a lot of factors that affect the outcome of our journey as we crisscross around the Gulf of Mexico. Luckily, we have trained professionals doing their job!

a collage of four photos. Top left: view of the bow of NOAA Ship Oregon II in port. We can see the NOAA logo and the ship's hull number, R 332. Top right: a view of a table surrounded by six chairs attached on swivel posts to the floor. There's a television on the wall at one end of the table and a porthole window. Bottom left: a scientist sits at one of several computers set up on a long wooden desk. additional monitors are mounted on the wall. Bottom right: a view of a desk and computer monitors in front of the row of windows in the ship's bridge.
Top Left: Front of Ship (Bow), Top Right: Dining Area, Bottom Left: Computer Lab, Bottom Right: Bridge, Captain’s Area

Personal Log

I appreciate my Uncle Bill who made sure I arrived in Cape Canaveral safely. It was good to see him with his gracious welcome to Orlando, Florida. Now that I completed the initial paperwork & received a negative Covid result, I am happy to meet my shipmates! My work schedule will be from 12pm to 12am with breaks in between. I’m the only Teacher at Sea on this ship along with 2 college interns and a volunteer. We are all excited about the upcoming experience. There’s a lot of information to learn in a short period of time, but I think I can manage. My state room has a full bathroom, lots of storage space & twin bunkbeds with curtains. I chose the top bunk. I met with Mr. Collin Lynch, Chief Electronics Technician as soon as I got settled into my room. He made sure my computer & cell phone are connected to the Wi-Fi system. I really appreciate him because I still need to connect with my students, plan lessons & make sure they get assistance as needed during my breaks.

While my shipmates & I waited for the supplies to come in, we had dinner at the local restaurants along the waterfront. I learned how to keep score in a darts game and still lost. I had hoped to see a rocket launch, but the mission was cancelled/postponed. The disappointed people were in traffic starting at 3am in the morning to get a good spot. Oh well, maybe next time.

Top left: Maronda poses for a photo with her uncle outside. Top right: Maronda stands next to a dartboard. Bottom left: a man holds a dart up in his right hand, aiming at a dartboard out of frame. Bottom right: Maronda prepares to throw another dart.
Top Left: My Uncle Bill, Top Right: Me with no luck at darts, Bottom Left: Lead Fisherman, Chuck Godwin, Bottom Right: Me still trying to earn points

I enjoyed listening to the stories, having great meals & asking a few questions. I found out that some of them conduct surveys for up to 45 days before they go home. Some are married with kids while others are single, or kids are grown now. Either way, they adjust to life at sea. Check out a few pictures from my flight to time in Cape Canaveral.

  • Maronda poses with her Uncle Bill outside in Orlando.
  • A view of the stern of NOAA Ship Oregon II in port. It's a sunny day with blue skies and white clouds. A bright orange fast rescue boat mounted on a davit on an upper deck catches the eye.
  • A view of toward the bow of NOAA Ship Oregon II in port. It's a sunny day with blue skies and white clouds. We can see the wooden sign board that reads OREGON II. Two people stand on the lower deck and look over the taffrail.
  • A selfie view of Maronda in front of NOAA Ship Oregon II in port. We can see the back half of the ship, the fast rescue boat, and the American flag ensign flying from the fantail.
  • A close-up selfie of Maronda in front of NOAA Ship Oregon II in port. We can see the NOAA logo and read, in reverse, NOAA R 332.
  • A metal plaque that reads: "R.V. OREGON II, designed by R. H. MACY for U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES built by THE INGALLS SHIPBUILDING CORP., a division of LITTON INDUSTRIES, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1967
  • Maronda reclines in a lawn chair on the deck of NOAA Ship Oregon II, beneath the metal ship information plaque.
  • a close-up view of navigational instruments on the bridge
  • a close-up view of a plate of sushi at a restaurant.
  • four people along one side of a table at a restuarant, eating sushi
  • five people along one side of a long table at a restuarant, eating sushi
  • Maronda and four other people at a long table in a restuarant, eating sushi

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