Last night we stopped survey operations and sailed for the Coast Guard Station in Kodiak, Alaska. We went through a part of the island called Whale Pass.
We saw whales blowing in the distance, sea otters drifting with the tide and a spectacular Alaska sunset that seemed to go on forever.
We pulled into port and found another NOAA Ship, called the Fairweather. They were on the pier right next to us. Lieutenant Sean set me up with a tour. Imet ENS Matthew Glazewski who took time from a busy morning to give me a tour. What an amazing ship! They do work mapping the bottom of the sea with allkinds of interesting sonar equipment. I as glad I had a chance to go on board.
This morning, I said some sad goodbyes to the crew on the FREEMAN and left the ship along with the science crew. The scientists departed by plane forSeattle while NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN prepared to leave later in the afternoon for a transit south. The crew are leaving for warmer waters off the west coast of the USA. They will spend a few days in transit, a few in port and then pick up more scientists for studies along the west coast of the USA. The crew have had a long spring in the cold Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. I think they all will be grateful for some bright sunny warm days. I wish them pleasant journeys and thank each and every one of them for all their support and hospitality and for a wonderful 10 days.
I was sad at first, and then set out to make the best of it by exploring on foot. I started with some lunch. What a treat! For Memorial Day, Kodiak had something called a Crab Festival. There were rides, treats, and of course, Alaska King Crab. Take a look a lunch today!
I next set off on a long hike through the areas near the town of Kodiak. Lieutenant Sean had given me a list and guide to the town, and using that, I visited the harbors near town, and then a park just outside of town where I was able to hike through spruce trees covered with moss, and then find isolated beaches full of birds, including eagles.
Next, I decided to hike to the top of a mountain overlooking Kodiak, again, following Lieutenant Sean’s recommendation. I found myself on top of a peak overlooking one of the most beautiful views I have seen on the trip so far. In fact, I took almost 500 photos today and had a very hard time selecting what to show you on the blog. I’ll put more on the gallery when I get back to New York, so you can see more soon.
On the way down, the weather started to grow cold. Suddenly the clouds opened up and rain began pouring down. I still had miles to go to get back to town and shelter. And I thought they called this DRY land! Fortunately, I was “rescued” by the Kelly family, who were driving down the gravel road I was walking along. They offered me a ride and then asked if I would like to join them for dinner. When we got to their beautiful house in Kodiak, we found that one of their friends had left a treat for us. Fresh red salmon, caught just down the road. What a feast!
I was also amazed when they brought fresh vegetables out to make salad. I found out that the vegetables are brought to the island by barge from the west coast. We had a great time learning about each other’s home towns. Thank you to the Kellys, and thank you to everyone who made this such a spectacular voyage.
Tomorrow I’ll be traveling, but will check the blog on Wednesday when I get back into the New York area, so please write comments. I’ll see you all in school soon.
If you could travel anywhere you wanted to, where would you decide to go? Why?