John Schneider, July 5, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Schneider
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather 
July 7 – August 8, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Kodiak, AK to Dutch Harbor, AK
Date: July 5, 2009

USCG Pier – Kodiak, AK

Personal Log 

Slept in some for a little fly-time recovery.  Once I got up (about 0900) I went up to the mess and had a cup of coffee and worked on yesterday’s log.  While doing so I met several members of the crew, most of who were up to doing something on an off day.  Hikes, chiropractor visits, shopping, etc. were all on the agenda. The engineers, however, were working down below in the engine room in preparation for our departure scheduled for the morning of the 7th.

When in port in Kodiak, the Fairweather has access to a van and a couple of vehicles for ship’s work and transportation to and from the town of Kodiak.  The “liberty van” runs every hour on the hour into Kodiak and back on the half hour.  Being new to the ship (and Alaska) I thought it would be a cool, scenic idea to walk into town.  A couple miles later, I changed my mind and resorted to something I hadn’t done in 30 years – hitchhiking (turns out it’s about 6••• miles!).  I got picked up by a local guy who moved to Kodiak 20+ years ago.  He took me all the way in to the commercial fishing docks and I walked the remaining quarter mile.  On Shelikof Road I went to Kodiak Marine Supply and bought a couple of charts for the areas we will be surveying.  I will use these to plot our positions whenever I get them from the bridge.

My cabin door.
My cabin door.

Once in town I had a great lunch with two of the crew – Ron and Mark – at a place called Henry’s. The crew members seem to migrate there for the food, although they all prefer eating on board the Fairweather. My ship is blessed to have 3 chefs in the steward’s department.  Two are graduates of the Culinary Institute and the third is out of Johnson and Wales!  I can’t wait to get under way!  On my second trip into town (this time by the liberty van,) Tami, a member of the survey team, told me she had rented a car on the island and was real glad to have done so.  I figured that was good advice and rented a small car for a day.  By the time I had gotten back to the Fairweather I had put on over 100 miles just driving around one side of the island.  Tomorrow I’ll put on some more miles and return the car in the late afternoon.  I went by Kodiak High School and Middle School and hope to stop into their board/district offices just to see what’s overtly similar and dissimilar to home. I’m all unpacked and settled in.  It’s 2330 hrs so I’ll have a glass of water and turn in.

Hanging locker and fold-away desktop.
Hanging locker and fold-away desktop.

I’m on C-Deck (the 3rd deck up from the bottom of the ship.) To the right in the picture is my hanging locker, then the top shelf folds into a desktop (on which I am writing now) and below it are 3 drawers for clothes.  The door to the left is the head and shower which I share with 1 other crew member.   In the photo, you can see the TV and dish network box to the left.  Below the bed are 2 more drawers.  Even though the space may appear small, I could easily move in here and have all the comforts of home.  Below that are a couple more shelves and an open space where my PFD (personal flotation device/life jacket) and immersion suit are stored.  At the upper left is a 10-minute air supply kit to be used in event of fire.  These kits are located all over the ship.

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