Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ship of Opportunity

Buoy and instrument that gets thrown overboard
The MV Explorer is consider a ship of opportunity for the conduct of marine science.  NOAA has an on-going request that when on its voyages various science projects be conducted.  On our voyage the ship's crew was instructed to deploy two buoys, with marine instruments to measure salinity, temperature, currents, every one degree while we sail from Ghana to South Africa.  I was invited to have my students participate in these deployments; each buoy has been assigned a number which will allow us to track their movement.

My students preparing to heave ho

I'm receiving information from crew member in charge of the project

The 15:15 deployment: buoys were deployed every 1 deg of latitude: about every 3 1/2 hours

Monday, October 15, 2012

"0-0" Day

As in the Fall 2010 voyage the captain agreed to sail to the intersection of the equator and the prime meridian.  This occurred the day we departed Tema, Ghana. Where the ship parked in Tema was only about .5 mile from the prime meridian so for about the 340 n. miles it took to get to the equator we essentially were on the prime meridian. 

I was given permission to be on the bridge with the captain at that wonderful geographic moment and I went on the PA system just before the event to brief the shipboard community on latitude and longitude.  One of my former government colleagues has accused me of becoming a "geo-geek".

On the bridge with the captain (L) and Staff Captain (R)
Electronic chart showing "0-0"

Ian Rodgers, my "ship son" showing his "0-0" moment

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Return to Paris

My hotel, located in the Latin Quarter on the left Bank
Prior to this trip my last visits were in 1977 when Sandra and I began our honeymoon and then briefly in 1980. I did spend about 8 weeks in Paris one summer in the early '70s attending the Alliance Francais in an attempt to learn enough French to pass my graduate school exam.  So, on this brief 3 day visit I went to find out what was the same and what was different in the city. 

I did find the underground system a bit more complex and the Musee d'Orsay was one that I had not experienced in all its glory.  And, one of my favorite buildings from which to view the entire city, Samaritaine (a dept store) had closed down and was boarded up, as of about 5 years ago.  But, other that that, Paris is...well, Paris in all its splendor.

I spent my 3 days just walking, stopping in at Notre Dame, St, Chapelle, Musee d'Orsay, Sacre Coeur.  And, of course, just sitting at cafes enjoying a cafe au lait (in the morning) or a citron presse (a very sour lemonade, in the afternoon). And, Paris at night is not to be missed

Sacre Coeur, as seen from Musee d'Orsay

Sacre Coeur

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A walk around Antwerp

Our ship docked only several hundred meters from downtown Antwerp, making it quite easy to walk around this wonderful Belgium town.
On board our ship, with the Cathedral and town in the background
Our gang:  Faye, Matt Smith, Consuelo Springfield and me
Antwerp's train station
 Faye Serio, on the left in the picture, who had lived in Antwerp for about 9 months, showed a small group of us (around the town, "getting lost" as she put it, down fun little alley ways.
My favorite cafe, near the cathedral

I used this train station on day 2 as I traveled to Paris-- is has 3 levels

A wonderful evening sky on my walk back to the ship
The MV Explorer

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My extended ship family

On each voyage willing faculty & staff are given students who have asked to be placed with extended families.  These "families" then attempt to get together periodically to meet, talk, play games-- usually the meeting time is dinner.  Here is my "extended fam":  Mary (U Mich), Annie (Sweetbriar), Ian (U. San Diego) and Alexandria (Mich St.).  We have met on a couple of occasions and thus far, played one game of "oh hell".
Mary, Annie, Ian and Alexandria

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romesy, England

On my last day in Southampton I met up with my friends Lindsay and wife Lisa Parsons who live in the old and quaint town of Romsey, about a half hour drive west of Southampton. Whereas Southampton and Portsmouth, two port towns were bombed during WWII Romsey escaped that part of the war.

Lindsay and Lisa

Montbatten  buried in the Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey dates back to the 10th century.

A most delightful day was spent with Lindsay and Lisa, from just sitting adjacent to Romsey's main square with a cup of coffee, to going to their agricultural day.

Wonderful day in Romsey

Creative coffee

Reflection of another old Romsey church

Friday, September 14, 2012

A day in London

London is a great city in which to walk, or to take a double-decker bus.  So much history to take in, or just to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of London life.
Fun way to travel around the city, especially if you can snag the front row seat up top
What' going to London and not taking a pic of Big Ben and Parliament

Be sure not to eat until you get to the Market at Convent Garden

More eats at Convent Garden market

Crowds (plus bird) at Trafalgar Sq. enjoying ParaOlympic festivities

Ya gotta take in a show or two while in London

Old map and book stores are great in London