NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
July 23 – August 11, 2006
Mission: Hydrographic Survey of the Shumagin Islands
Geographical Area: Alaska
Date: August 10, 2006
We’re about three hours from arriving in Seward. I’m looking forward to being on land again. Although I’ve enjoyed my time on the RAINIER, I can say that ship life is not a way of life for me. ☺ As we make our approach to Resurrection Bay, there’s some beautiful scenery and lots of little islets are popping up. It’s as if we’re being greeted by them. It also serves as a sign for me that land is near.
I’ve been quite impressed at how well things run aboard the ship. Everyone is very hard working—the deckhands, the engineers, the electrician, the cooks, the hydrographic technicians, and the officers. People are where they need to be when they need to be there. Many of the people have crazy schedules, even when we’re anchored. There are always people awake and working in some capacity 24/7 on the ship. Engineers need to be on watch in the engine room food preparation for the day and don’t finish until about 7pm! Even when we dock in Seward in a few days, people will still be working to maintain and secure the ship.
I’d like to thank NOAA for providing me the opportunity to be a Teacher at Sea. It has been a wonderful experience that I will be taking back to my classroom and my colleagues. I am especially thankful to the officers and crew of the RAINIER for being so open, friendly, welcoming, accommodating, and helpful. They all made the time on board a pleasure. I learned a tremendous amount from them. They were all very giving of their time, even when they were busy and tired.
I’ve met great people these past few weeks. I’ve had many laughs and excellent conversations along the way. Everyone I’ve had the opportunity to talk with and get to know has such interesting stories to tell about themselves, their travels, and life in general. Some of them are very good storytellers and instigators (no names mentioned Dennis Brooks). There is such a variety of walks of life on the ship. I feel lucky to have gotten to be a part of their world for this short time. When we get to Seward, some of the crew will be leaving the RAINIER for new jobs and life endeavors. I wish them the best. To all aboard the RAINIER, I wish safe travels.