Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving to all mariners at sea or away from home who keep this country moving and to all the readers of Blue Ocean Mariner. Be safe and enjoy your day.

There’s a hole in our schedule

We were supposed to have been beginning a mid-life refit onboard the Thomas G. Thompson, however it was decided to postpone the refit for one year. This ship is one of several that works under UNOLS scheduling. UNOLS is the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (Click HERE for link) and our schedule is determined by a central dispatch type arrangement. If you are a scientist with a project in the Caribbean, they will schedule ship time for you on a ship that will be in the area. If you are working in the North Pacific, they will schedule time for you on the nearest ship and so on. Since we were “scheduled” to be in the shipyard now, we didn’t get put on the schedule. Later once it was decided to postpone the shipyard, the ship’s schedule was filled in as best as possible but we still had a six week gap at the dock.

We have been getting very familiar with our painting skills, cleaning, maintenance, etc. They are also doing some training. Next week there is one of the local maritime schools coming in to do Fast Rescue Boat Training. I won’t be able to make that because I’m getting sent out on the Clifford A. Barnes to help out for a short trip. I will get to take a course later.

We normally would be in the South Pacific at this time of year, but instead we will be getting spanked in the Gulf of Alaska over the winter. Stay tuned for a report. We have some other things to do first.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shipyard quickie

We have a five week gap in our schedule this year and don’t get underway again until mid December.  Earlier this week we had our USCG C.O.I. inspection.  Yesterday we were supposed to shift our ship from the University dock ( our homeport) to Lake Union drydock, just around the corner.  During the required dead ship portion of the C.O.I. inspection, some electrical component failed on on the starboard z-drive and the shift didn’t happen until today. We are only supposed to be here a few days as they clean and touch up the bottom and replace a transducer.  The entire bottom will get redone a year from now when she goes to the ship yard for her midlife refit.

The way the watch bill (schedule) was written I was able to get off at 0800 yesterday and go home for a night and return at 1600 today.  I missed the whole shift evolution.

It was nice to unwind, get a hair cut, do a few maintenance items for my wife and have a nice dinner with my family.


High resolution seafloor mapping

Yesterday the local NBC news channel rode along on the Clifford A. Barnes ( the boat I sailed as mate this summer) to see a demonstration of a Konsberg multi-beam.  The scans provide 1cm of accuracy.  They took students out for some mapping of a sunken minesweeper and old barge on the bottom of Lake Union.