Nicole Macias, May 31, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Nicole Macias
Onboard NOAA Vessel Oscar Elton Sette 
May 31-June 28, 2009 

Mission: Lobster Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Location: 21° 14.6 ‘ N; 158° 07.5’ W
Wind Speed: 15 kts.
Wave Height: 1-2 ft.
Sea Water Temp: 26.4° C
Air Temp.: 26° C

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette about to leave port

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette about to leave port

Science and Technology Log 
Well the ship was originally supposed to depart on May 28, but first it experienced generator problems delaying the trip by two days and then there were problems with the salt water holding tank postponing the trip another day. The reason there have been delays with the ship is because the Oscar Elton Sette was originally made for the Vietnam War. It never did see any action, but it is that old. In preparation for the cruise we received a cultural briefing on the importance of the North Western Hawaiian Islands to the native islanders. The natives are very spiritual and believe that the souls of their ancestors travel to these islands.

View from the Maunawili Trail

View from the Maunawili Trail

After the cultural briefing, we went to the ship where we were given a brief tour and then loaded 6,000 lbs of bait. The bait we are using is mackerel. The chief scientist, Bob Moffit, informed me that mackerel is good for bait because it is very bloody and oily. Mackerel is considered a constant variable in the lobster study. This means it is something that stays exactly the same during each trial. If they used different bait during each trip they might not know if that affects their results so they keep it constant.

Jumping off the falls at Maunawili Falls

Jumping off the falls at Maunawili Falls

Personal Log  

Since the trip was delayed I had time to explore the island of Oahu. My hotel was located in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii. It is a very busy and somewhat crowded place. The population of Oahu is around 1million and the entire population of all the Hawaiian Islands is around 1.3 million. So it makes sense that it is a heavily populated area and it is usually the first stop for visitors from the main land, ex. Ft. Lauderdale!

This is my room that I share with four other women!

This is my room that I share with four other women!

I rented a surfboard for an hour at Waikiki Beach and was able to catch a few waves even though the line up was very crowded. I also got to explore the North Shore and see all the famous surf breaks. While there I stopped at a little ice cream shop that had mochi, which is a Japanese food made from sticky rice. This shop just happened to stuff the sticky rice cake with ice cream and it was delicious. My favorite experience so far was hiking up to a waterfall in the forest. The scenery was very beautiful and when you reached the fall you could climb up and jump of a ledge into a very cold pool of water. I am on the ship now and everyone seems very nice. There are three other women who are considered part of the “science party.” We are all in a room together. The room is meant for six people, but there are only four of us so we have plenty of space and extra drawers for our belongings. I will write again soon!