A new view of new ships

Cruising the Arctic Ocean can be a slow and lonely business – long voyages, harsh weather, and endless danger from sea ice and other challenging events. Maybe you have a feeling you’ve been stuck for too long in the confines of a single ship on an endless voyage. So we’re very excited to report the first sightings of a new fleet – with new ships, and some new equipment.

The Greenland Patrol. Original painting by William H. RaVell III, a retired United States Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer. Used by permission of the artist. From top, left to right: the armed trawler Alatok, buoy tender Storis, the Wind-class icebreaker Eastwind, and the cutter Northland.

The Greenland Patrol. Original painting by William H. RaVell III, a retired United States Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer. Used by permission of the artist.
From top, left to right: the armed trawler Alatok, buoy tender Storis, the Wind-class icebreaker Eastwind, and the cutter Northland.

The first thing you will notice is that oldWeather.org has changed a lot: it looks different, and the way we are transcribing is very different: The US ship logbooks contain what are basically tables of weather data, so we have tried to make capturing the information in these tables easier and faster, while retaining the flexibility to mark and transcribe other events. As always when we change the site, these new tools will take some getting used to, so please persevere and experiment until you find a way that works for you; there is help available on both the forum and Talk boards.

The new logbooks will also be a bit different from what we’ve been doing lately. We have split them into shorter deployments of a year or two; so completing a voyage will be less of a commitment, and you’ll have a chance for a bit of shore leave now and again, or to choose a different kind of ship altogether.

Thanks to Gina and Mark at the Archives, for finding and photographing all the new logbooks; to Roger and the Zooniverse development team for getting the fleet launched on the new website; and to our expert volunteers, for suggesting better ways to add voyages and preparing the help and reference pages for all the new ships.

We hope you will like the new oldWeather, but if you fancy something different, there are other options. The Whaling site is there with different logs and a different interface; and, just for those who love the original version, we are keeping it around – it’s now classic oldWeather.

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