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Journals 2008/2009

Jeff Lawrence
Lowrey Middle School, Tahlequah, OK

"Factors Controlling Coccolithophore Calcification in the Ocean"
R/V Roger Revelle
December 4, 2008 - January 2, 2009
Journal Index:
December 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
                11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17
                18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24
                25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 January 1 - 2

December 22, 2008
The Control Center of the Ship: The Bridge


No trip aboard a ship would be complete without a trip to the bridge. The bridge of a ship is the place where the captain and his crew manage the ship, plot courses, watch the weather, and plan the overboard experiments. The bridge can be a very busy place. Even when the ship is not moving due to the CTD or some other device being overboard, the captain must keep the ship in place. This can be a challenge when strong currents are present in addition to large swells and waves. If the ship doesn't remain in the proper alignment, the cables that are in the water can get pulled under the ship into the screw and cause a lot of problems. Weather is a constant concern when aboard a ship. Schedules for station sampling are prepared three days in advance. The bridge then has to make it happen or determine if it is feasible during bad weather conditions. Chief Mate Murray Stein showed me around the bridge of the REVELLE. Murray has been with Scripps for 22 years and has many great stories to tell of his journeys around the world. The ship was commissioned in 1996 and has a very sophisticated steering system. The REVELLE uses global positioning to get around in the oceans. The system has a plotted course that it follows using satellite information. There is also equipment on board to warn of particular hazards such as collisions, a state of the art RADAR system, and a sophisticated radio system that keeps track of nearby traffic. The captain aboard the REVELLE is Tom Desjardines. Tom and his crew have been very helpful to me, and the scientists aboard the REVELLE. Whenever there is a need or task to be completed the crew of the REVELLE respond politely and efficiently. I would like to thank the crew of the REVELLE for making my voyage with them a memorable learning experience and treasured lifetime moment. Meeting the different people is a delightful part of each day. Each person has an interesting story to share. Some share their experiences on board a Scripps Ocean vessel while others may tell about their lives in general. On the REVELLE I met another Okie, AB Dave Weaver is originally from Oklahoma City where his mom still lives. However, Dave has spent much of his life in the Navy and around other parts of the United States. It is good to meet another Sooner fan.

I am helping deploy the CTD in rough seas.
Photo taken from bridge yesterday during rough seas

Yesterday we dealt with a strong low-pressure system that brought high swells to the ship. Some of the operations were not completed due to the weather conditions. The seas swells were very uncomfortable as winds gusted to near 70 mph. The swells were between 12'-15' and up to 20' in some of the rougher seas. Some onboard were not feeling well due to the weather. We have enjoyed good weather up until now. Today makes you appreciate the good days much more. The Captain and his crew have secured the ship and are accustomed to this kind of weather. So I feel we are in good hands despite how rough it may feel.

Barney and Dave discuss the track to follow.
Captain Tom Desjardines and Sean secure the deck.

Questions of the Day:
  1. What device controls which direction the ship is going in the water?
  2. What kind of fuel is the REVELLE powered by? (Look at ship website)
  3. Name two other ships in the Scripps Institute's Fleet: (Look at ship website)
  4. What famous book did Herman Melville write?