Daily Journals:Have you ever wondered what it's like to be at sea?�Do you know how or why oceanographers gather data from the sea?�� Spend a day or a month by joining Denise Walsh and oceanographic researchers on their expedition in the Gulf of Papua aboard the R/V Melville.
DAY 20 | March 7, 2004
Early this morning at the end of the last coring shift, about 5:00 am, the R/V Melville increased her speed to 12.6 knots and began the trek to Cairns, Australia. We are set to arrive at 8:00 am on Tuesday, the 9th of March.
DAY 19 | March 6, 2004
There have been various forms of communication between ship and land since the early days of sailing. During the 18th and 19th centuries, U.S. and British Navies as well as the whaling trade would communicate with friends and family at home and vice versa, by having out bound ships carry bags of mail and newspapers to deliver to ships that were met at sea and inbound ships would pick up mail from those who were out bound or "on station".
DAY 18 | March 5, 2004
In all of our slide shows about work on deck, you will typically see equipment being deployed and recovered using a combination of frames, known as a-frames, cranes and winches. While you may be familiar with a crane...do you know why we use cranes and what in the world are winches and a-frames?
DAY 17 | March 4, 2004
So today is the day I said I'd announce who e-mailed in the correct answer for my questions about the flying fish...I'll get to that in a moment, but first let's talk about some other wildlife we've seen here in the Gulf of Papua.
DAY 16 | March 3, 2004
I'm sitting in the galley - currently full of wet people on the night watch, just in from working out on deck in the rain. They are descending upon leftovers like vultures, eating various concoctions such as cereal, a cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, broccoli and bread with peanut butter.
DAY 15 | March 2, 2004
Pink Floyd sings a song called Money...do you remember it? It starts out with the distinctive sound of a cash register - clink, swish, bing, ching. It's a distinctive sound, and while it's different than what I'm hearing here on the R/V Melville...I'm reminded of it because the Melville, like Money has its own distinctive sound.
DAY 14 | March 1, 2004
Today marks the start of a new month, and renewed hope with some of the researchers onboard. This evening, the Chirp had its first test run, back in the water and it worked great!
DAY 13 | February 29, 2004
Have you ever been in a pilothouse, also known as a bridge? It's the place that sits high above the ship, giving the captain, mates and able seamen an eye on the seas around.
DAY 12 | February 28, 2004
This evening after 12 days of imaging the sea bed and subsurface, we began to head back to Port Moresby, approximately a 15 hour trip from where we are today, traveling at 12 knots. Have you ever wondered how fast a knot is?
DAY 11 | February 27, 2004
Yesterday I closed my journal entry in a hurry as an alarm on the ship was sounding. As it turned out we experienced a lock down for a terrorist or pirate drill. There is a series of alarms specific to different safety issues, such as man overboard, fire, and terrorist or pirate attack.
DAY 10 | February 26, 2004
Driving to work, going to meetings, dealing with traffic jams, getting the mail, paying bills, running to errands,
picking the kids up from school, deciding what to make for dinner - making dinner, doing the dishes, someone at
the door, running from one thing to the next, the phone won't stop ringing...
DAY 9 | February 25, 2004
Today is day nine of this cruise. We have had a variety of challenges with problematic research equipment as can often happen at sea. Here, we are far from land and so when problems with equipment occur, we are limited to resources found on the ship.
DAY 8 | February 24, 2004
Boy, is it hot out here! What if it's hotter than it used to be?
DAY 7 | February 23, 2004
So have you come up with a guess as to how much food is onboard the R/V Melville when she sets out for sea? If it's the start of a six month cruise, it is approximately >11,160 lbs of food!!!
DAY 6 | February 22, 2004
Yesterday I told you I'd find out what happens to the sediment captured by the Jumbo Piston Core (JPC).
Is the 40 feet of mud collected from the seabed going to the spa mud bath industry - or does something else happen?
DAY 5 | February 21, 2004
When you hear that someone is an oceanographer, what comes to mind? Often I hear people say to my husband,
J.P., upon hearing that he is in the field of oceanography, "That's so cool! Do you work with dolphins?"
DAY 4 | February 20, 2004
Where was I...oh yes, yesterday we talked about why we are in Papua New Guinea and today I promised to begin talking about ways we plan to look below the earth's surface.
DAY 3 | February 19, 2004
Hello! Thanks for stopping by. We just arrived in the heart of the Gulf of Papua early this morning. Have you had a chance
to find Papua New Guinea on a map? Papua New Guinea is a country located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea that is found just north
of the northeastern tip of Australia and just south of the equator.
DAY 2 | February 18, 2004
Hello again thanks for joining me today! We have spent the past three days loading the Melville for the upcoming cruise.
Think of how it feels to pack your suitcase for a week of vacation. How long does it take, how much should you bring? Now consider packing a
ship for three to eight weeks at sea!
DAY 1 | February 17, 2004
I am writing to you from a ship. It's an oceanographic research vessel named the R/V Melville. The sun is bright; the air hangs
heavy because it is incredibly humid and the temperature is around 29° C (84° F). The water temperature is slightly
warmer than the air!