Authority of the Master and the Chief Scientist: The master (captain), by law, has paramount authority over all persons assigned to or embarked on the ship. The master's legal authority at sea is supreme and extends to all members of the crew, scientific personnel, and any other persons on board. The master carries full responsibility for the safety of the vessel and all personnel and is vested with the authority to take any action necessary to preserve and maintain the safety and integrity of the vessel and its personnel.
The chief scientist has overall charge of the scientific objectives of the cruise leg, is responsible for assigning duties to members of the scientific party and for ensuring that all members of the scientific party obey rules for shipboard behavior.
In order to ensure the proper interaction between the scientific party and the crew, all formal matters involving both groups, including instructions, procedural questions and discipline, should be channeled through the chief scientist and the captain. Routine requests to the ship's crew, such as requesting winch operators, changes in course and speed, or position reports should be handled by the watch officer on the bridge. Throughout the cruise the chief scientist should outline to the captain and/or the watch officer the tentative operational schedule some hours in advance, with the understanding that all plans are subject to change.
Moving Aboard: When the ship departs from or arrives at San Diego, normal practice is for personnel to move aboard on the day of sailing and move off upon return. Berthing aboard for the night before or after a cruise requires special permission from the marine superintendent. (Procedure in ports other than San Diego is different - see Section III. on "Expeditions and Foreign Clearances.")
Orientation Session(s): It is customary at the start of each cruise for the captain and/or resident technician to talk briefly to the scientific party summarizing the procedures and customs of life at sea, emphasizing safety and the rules in this manual. Time must be made available for this. It is also useful, perhaps even crucial to the success of your work, if you will give a talk to all hands, crew and scientists, (a) to inform everyone what the scientific goals and needs of the cruise are, and (b) to describe any specialized concerns about safety or proper procedure that may arise from unique equipment and techniques of your intended scientific operations. The same orientation session may well serve all these purposes.
Fire and Boat Drills: These drills are required by the U.S. Coast Guard. The first drill will normally be held shortly after leaving port each time, with successive drills not more than a week apart. You should consult with the captain to schedule the drills so as to constitute minimum interference with the scientific program. All members of the scientific party not actively on instrument watch or involved in an over-the-side operation are required to participate in each drill. Proper clothing for drills consists of hat or head covering, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers, and covered shoes. Each member of the scientific party should bring such clothing aboard.
Housekeeping: The scientific party is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of all its staterooms, heads and showers, and laboratory spaces. Cleaning equipment is available. Fresh linen is issued once a week, and the ship's laundry may be used to wash clothes. The use of fresh water should be kept to a minimum by such measures as taking "Navy showers." Excessive use of fresh water may result in rationing. Captains may occasionally decide that weekly sanitary inspections are needed; your participation in this is desirable. Scientific quarters and laboratory areas should be left clean by scientists departing the ship, for the benefit of those coming aboard.
Plastics, and other trash: In the old days, all trash was thrown over the side of the ship. New treaties strictly limit what may be discarded in the ocean and where, and the captain must enforce compliance. When a ship is operating within 3, 12, or 200 miles of the coast, some things may not be dumped - and you may under some circumstances find a port call needed to get rid of dirty oil and other trash.
A treaty (MARPOL; see annex V), effective 12/31/88 prohibits discarding "plastics" into the ocean anywhere. If your equipment comes in Styrofoam shipping containers, please plan either to leave them on the dock when you load, or to ship them home after the trip. "Plastic popcorn" packing material is a particular problem because it fouls drains and blows overboard; do not pack your equipment using this material.
Mess Hall Protocol: In order to reduce costs, the galley staff on SIO ships is at the practical minimum. The system can only work if all members of the crew and scientific party cooperate. The messes are cafeteria style, and people are expected to get their own food and eating utensils from the serving line, to scrape their dirty dishes and stack them neatly in the sink when they are through, to leave the mess hall promptly after meals to permit cleanup, and if requested by the duty officer, to assist with the loading of provisions in port. Under crowded conditions a second sitting may be required. Persons in the first sitting should finish promptly to allow others to eat. Persons on watch or relieving the watch have priority in the serving line. Seating arrangements are rather informal, with crew and scientists sharing the mess area. A few seats are designated (by labels) for the captain and certain other ships officers. A coffee mug and glass, identified by bunk number, are assigned to each person. If anyone loses a mug or glass, there may not be a replacement available. Wash your own mug and glass.
Alcohol and Drugs: The captain is responsible for control of alcoholic beverages aboard SIO ships. No member of the scientific party may bring any alcoholic beverages aboard. The only exception is that by explicit, PRIOR approval of the captain in each instance, a scientist may bring alcohol aboard directly into the bonded store, for immediate removal from the ship at a later port, and in compliance with all applicable laws and customs regulations. Captains are not required to offer this bonded-store service. They may do so or not at their sole discretion and convenience. Individuals are responsible for any formalities and customs fees associated with alcohol thus transported in bond. The chief scientist is delegated responsibility for ensuring that the scientific party obeys those rules.
Apart from the small amount of alcohol carried in the ship's medical supplies, supplies that may at times be authorized to be carried in the captain's custody for official entertainment in port, and the possible transportation of alcohol in bond without shipboard consumption as noted above, absolutely no other alcoholic beverages are allowed aboard. We frequently hear rumors of an "unwritten rule" that alcohol is OK if you keep it quiet in your own room. This "unwritten rule" does not exist, and is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of our liquor rules. We allow beer, and provide for occasional wine at dinner so that the only liquor consumption will be open and controlled consumption of beer and wine in moderation, rather than secret and uncontrollable consumption of stronger beverages. We also insist that the rules about possession and use of shipboard alcohol be applied uniformly to crew and scientists. In this we are more liberal than many UNOLS institutions where the stated policy is one of total prohibition.
Narcotics and other "controlled substances" are not allowed aboard. Laws on this matter are becoming increasingly severe, and discovery of narcotics aboard has resulted in seizure of UNOLS ships. Searches will be made to determine if any controlled substances have been brought aboard, and drastic measures taken against offenders.
Smoking: The times and places where smoking is permitted aboard ship are regulated, for reasons of safety, fire prevention, personal health and comfort. The regulations pertaining to smoking aboard each ship will be listed in the ship handbook and posted aboard ship. In general, smoking is allowed on open (weather) decks and in some other areas where it is specifically permitted, and banned in all other locations including laboratories. By law, smoking is never allowed while the ship is fueling or loading explosives.
Sexual Harassment: When men and women work together and live in close proximity for lengthy periods, situations of "sexual harassment" may arise. These situations can be exacerbated by the fact that the usual shore-based distinctions between "on the job" and "off work" or between "at home" and "in the workplace" blur or become meaningless aboard ship. At sea, in contrast to the situation ashore, UC retains a right and responsibility to insist that behavior not constitute sexual harassment, whether the offending individual is on or off duty. The University of California has strict rules on this subject. If there is any suggestion that sexual harassment has occurred aboard ship, the chief scientist and the captain are expected to investigate promptly and take steps to correct the situation; similarly members of the scientific party or the crew who feel thus harassed are requested to notify the captain or the chief scientist in order to prevent what can become ugly situations.
Since students are often included in scientific parties, all hands need to be sensitive to the fact that evolving law and regulation are even tougher toward harassment situations that involve a faculty or faculty-equivalent person of authority on one side and a student, presumed vulnerable, on the other.
Shipboard Safety and Accident Reports: The captain is responsible for the safety of all personnel. This includes requirements for the use of life preservers, work vests, lifelines, hard hats, safe footwear, etc. The scientific party is expected to secure all scientific gear safely prior to leaving port. When assistance of the ship's crew is required, it must be obtained through the appropriate channels. Chief scientists are reminded that accidents that may require medical care ashore can delay and inconvenience an entire expedition. The chief scientist and the resident tech are responsible for establishing good safety procedures. The resident tech generally acts as "safety officer" for rigging and over-side operations.
All accidents involving bodily injury must be reported to the captain, who is required to report them to Marine Facilities.
Schedule Changes: We recognize that when one works in as unpredictable an environment as the ocean, the unexpected is to be expected, and that it is not always possible or desirable to stick to preordained schedules. At times, bad weather, loss of equipment, or ship breakdowns may make it necessary to shorten or lengthen a cruise leg. At other times, unexpected opportunities may arise to gather new and significant data by staying at sea a little longer. We do not wish to inhibit such flexibility. On the other hand, advance planning is a prerequisite for efficient operations, and the fact that you have overestimated the normal speed of the ship or underestimated the time that normal operations may take is an insufficient excuse for lengthening a cruise. Frequently, participants on later legs of a cruise or on later cruises are subject to severe time constraints in their participation - constraints that may not be known to the person who wishes to delay an ETA. Therefore, if you wish to change an ETA to a different day, you must first obtain approval from the Ship Scheduling Office by submitting a full justification for the proposed change. For short local operations chief scientists frequently wish to delay a departure by a few days. If word of such a delay is received too late, it may not be possible for other users to make use of the ship time released. You are, therefore, requested to give warning of such changes as soon as they become even a remote possibility. Wasted/unused time leads to inefficient schedules and, therefore, to increased per-day ship costs for all users.
Communications: See "Ship Communications" for various modes and costs of contacts with ships at sea. These modes and costs change from time to time; the list will be updated as needed. SIO Radio Station WWD should be used for business traffic only. Amateur radio operators are encouraged to bring their equipment along, but must clear their operations with the chief scientist to avoid interference with the operation of scientific instrumentation. The captain must approve amateur radio operations, but will normally grant permission.
Daily and Weekly Reports: Each ship reports its position daily. This is done by the bridge watch, without action needed by you. If any ship fails to report in for two successive days, the panic button is pushed and a search will be started. Therefore, captains are instructed that at this point they should make every effort to reestablish communications by any means possible, or to take the ship to a location from which communications can be reestablished. This may disrupt the scientific program badly, but it is a matter of safety both for the ship and for those searching for it.
On cruises of sufficient length a chief scientist's weekly report from each ship is distributed by the Ship Scheduling Office. It is published in the SIO LOG, which is widely read at SIO, is sent to ONR and NSF, and appears on the Web. Chief scientists are encouraged to submit these reports so that a broad community of interested persons ashore can keep up with scientific activities and progress at sea. These messages should be approximately one paragraph in length, written in plain English, and should summarize the scientific results of the preceding week. They should be addressed to the Ship Scheduling Office and should be received prior to noon each Tuesday, La Jolla time. Where E-mail capability exists it may be used for weekly reports at no cost to the science program. Beyond standard distribution to the SIO LOG and funding agencies, additional copies will be sent to a reasonable number of outside addressees or forwarded to the institution of the chief scientist if requested in advance of the trip.