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