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What is the speed of the boat, on average?

Posted on October 26 2012

Question submitted by Falmouth Academy

When we are not conducting any scientific activities we are averaging a speed of 3 to 5 knots (nautical miles per hour), or about 5 to 7 mph (miles per hour).  The winds have not been favorable for us to go faster so far.

We "heave to", or orient the ship to the wind so that forward motion has stopped, in order to deploy the carousel, a piece of equipment containing water collection bottles (Niskin bottles), as well as instrumentation to measure temperature, salinity, depth and other water properties.  We typically slow the ship to a speed of 2 knots in order to tow the plankton nets.

C Watch works on deck to tighten or loosen the sails by easing or hauling on their lines, and to furl (take down) or unfurl (put up) different sails to change the Seamans’ speed.