NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard R/V Tommy Munro
July 19 – 27, 2022
Mission: Gulf of Mexico Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Date: August 26, 2022
When I received my assigned schedule for my time at sea aboard the R/V Tommy Munro, I was participating in Leg 1 of the Summer SEAMAP Groundfish Survey that departed Biloxi, MS on July 18 and returned to Biloxi, MS on July 27. In a previous post, I highlighted the changes that have occurred since its original planned journey (departing from Galveston, TX instead of Biloxi, MS; change in ships from Oregon II to Tommy Munro; and change in dates from 6/20 – 7/3 to 7/18 – 7/27). With all of these changes, the cruise was delayed by one day because of logistical concerns. Once everyone boarded the vessel on the evening of July 19 and we left dock, it truly felt like this experience was actually happening… and it was. But as they say, especially among scientists, one should always expect the unexpected.
On early Sunday morning while asleep following my shift, I was awoken by one of my bunkmates that we would by stopping the survey and heading to port early because of an emergency issue with a crew member. We were expected to arrive in Biloxi on Monday, July 25 by 6:00 am.
As Sunday evening came around, the estimated time of arrival was moved up to 4:30 am so I simply stayed up so I would be packed and ready to go once we reached port. My immediate worry turned to my flight from Biloxi to Dallas but the NOAA Teacher at Sea staff were on it and I was confronted with a good news/bad news scenario. The good news? I was able to get on a flight for Monday. The bad news? The flight was scheduled for 7:00 pm. So I stayed aboard the ship until 12 Noon and then called for a taxi. I decided to contact the driver who took me from the airport in Biloxi upon arrival. He was honest, friendly and personable so I decided to see if he was available for a ride to the airport. This turned out to be another good news/bad news scenario. The good news? Yes, the taxi cab driver was available to pick me up and take me to the airport. The bad news? He would be able to pick me up until 3:00 pm, leaving me with a 3-hour wait but I felt good knowing I had a ride to the airport.
As luck would have it, the driver showed up about 15 minutes early and I was off to the airport. Following check in at the counter, I went through security and on to my gate to await the flight. There were several changes in the departure time but in the end it turned out to be delayed approximately 30 minutes. The flight was short in duration (about 90 minutes) and smooth. The flight is detailed in the attached figure below.
After a short wait at baggage claim to retrieve my luggage and a 30-minute taxi ride home, it was the end of a very tiring day, and the beginning of a period of reflection and processing of a very exciting experience. In the next and final blog post, I will share my reflections from my time as a NOAA Teacher at Sea.
In this installment of my exercise of the Ocean Literacy Framework, I would like to ask you
to respond to three questions about the sixth essential principle (The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.), presented in a Padlet accessed by the following link:
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – the questions serve not as an opportunity to answer yes or no, or to get answers right or wrong; rather, these questions serve as an opportunity not only to assess what you know or think about the scope of the principle but also to learn, explore, and investigate the demonstrated principle. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please indicate so in the blog and I would be glad to answer your questions and initiate a discussion.