NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
July 10, 2006
Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Kodiak, Alaska
Date: July 9, 2006
My NOAA Teacher at Sea adventure began with a long flight to Anchorage from Los Angeles International Airport. From Anchorage I caught a prop plane to Kodiak, which is an hour flight. Weather began to move in as we traveled to Kodiak, but I could see a few of the Aleutian Islands below. The landing made me a bit anxious; since it appears that you are landing on the water. The discomfort was worth enduring to observe the dramatic and beautiful scenery I saw as I landed. The plane flew over Cook Inlet which has enormous tidal flats. The tidal range in the inlet is over 30 feet per day. ENS Jamie Wasser, NOAA Ship RAINIER’s Junior Officer, met me at the airport in Kodiak and escorted me to the ship. Everyone thought I was so important since I was being met by an officer in uniform.
The RAINIER is docked at the U.S. Coast Guard Facility in Kodiak which is reported to be the largest in the United States. I take advantage of the great photo opportunity driving to the RAINIER dock. Once aboard the RAINIER, I met Olivia Hauser, Junior Officer, and my roommate for the cruise. Olivia is very nice and extremely outgoing. Olivia gives me a tour of the ship, and I get settled in. Olivia invites me to go eat Sushi and see “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” with some of the crew who are enjoying the last day of leave. The crew has just finished a leg and has a couple of days off before July 24, when we depart for the Shumagin Islands. We leave at 5:00 in a van to go to the Sushi restaurant and eat, but there are 10 people and it takes a long time so we scrap plans to go to the 7:00 p.m. movie. I return to the room, check on my online class, and get ready for bed. The scenery in Kodiak is dramatic and full of geology. One hillside composed of exposed volcanic rock is located near the dock.