David Babich, July 3, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
David Babich
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
July 5 -14, 2006

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Date: July 3, 2006

The FAIRWEATHER CDR, Andrew L. Beaver, prepares to bat as ENS Gonsalves looks on.
The FAIRWEATHER CDR, Andrew L. Beaver, prepares to bat as ENS Gonsalves looks on.

My Arrival 

I had picture perfect weather for most of my long trip from Detroit to Kodiak, Alaska.  The sights as the plane crossed over western Canada and southern Alaska were stunning!  The ice-capped mountains and vast glaciers looked impressive, as sunshine lit up the region. My last leg from Anchorage to Kodiak Island wasn’t as spectacular, as I was greeted with cloudy, grey conditions. However, the weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the FAIRWEATHER crew, as I arrived just in time for the big FAIRWEATHER versus RAINIER softball game!

After ten hours in the air and a four-hour time change, I was ready to just relax, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to watch the FAIRWEATHER crew beat up on RAINIER once again. Recently, the two ships play a softball game whenever they find themselves in port together, and the trash talk was flying! Alas, RAINIER avenged their last defeat by beating FAIRWEATHER 16-10, but it was a spirited game.  It was also a wonderful way to meet members of both crews in an informal atmosphere.  I knew this would be a great crew to spend the next two weeks with!

It was a fight to stay awake, and I finally relented and went to sleep at 10:00, even though fireworks were planned for that night! Since it doesn’t get dark in this part of Alaska until midnight, the fireworks would have to start without me.  It’s very odd to be in a part of the world where it doesn’t get dark until 12 a.m. and daybreak begins at 4a.m.!  Hopefully I’ll be back on a normal schedule tomorrow.


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