Maggie Prevenas, April 8, 2007

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Maggie Prevenas
Onboard US Coast Guard Ship Healy
April 20 – May 15, 2007

Mission: Bering Sea Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Alaska
Date: April 8, 2007

Personal Log

I’m in Dutch.

When I was a kid growing up, being in Dutch meant you were in big trouble. I don’t think that’s what it means for me today. It means I am in a beautiful new environment, one that I haven’t had the joy of exploring before.

A big bald eagle the size of an ostrich perches on a sign just outside the airport. Gazing skyward, I see two others glide in lazy concentric circles over Maggie Bay. Maggie is what the locals call the body of water that joins ‘Dutch’ to the world’s most productive fishing waters, the Bering Sea. Maggie is less formal than Margaret Bay. I can identify with that.

I see stacks of crab pots with bright orange buoys piled ten feet high. I see a big grocery store, bustling with locals buying last minute Easter treats and fisherman stockpiling supplies. There’s a gas station, a hardware store, and wooden pallets. Lots and lots of those.

Large grassy mountains, frosted with thick icy frosting encircle the water. Clouds hold their snowy breath. Cold showers are promised. I believe them.

All in a three-minute drive from the ‘Unalaska’ airport to the Grand Aleutian Hotel. Well, I’ll be darned.

I’m in Dutch.

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