Kathy Schroeder, May 13, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 13, 2010

5/13 My boat ride!

Getting on the rescue boat
Getting on the rescue boat

After the ship made it’s way through the ice we made it to our destination, which was about 2 miles off the island of St. Paul. We were supposed to arrive around noon, but it wasalready almost 3. We were there because the scientist (Bill) who was in charge of releasing the Mooring buoy had to get to the airport for a flight at 4. Bill was supposed to get off the ship when it came into port on May 3, but due to ice he was unable to release the buoy on the last trip, so he stayed onboard and was able to release it on this trip.

On the rescue boat
On the rescue boat

While on the bridge the CO (Commanding Officer) asked who wanted to go on the rescue boat to take Bill, and I smiled and raised my hand. He asked if I really wanted to go—of course I said yes! Next think I knew I was putting on my foul weather gear (the orange jacket and pants), gloves and boots. The boat can only hold 4 people so Dennis, Amber, Bill and I got ready to leave. As we were waiting I got to see Grey whales off in the distance. I would guess about 4 of them. They lowered the boat, with Dennis and Amber aboard, into the water with a crane. The boat then came around the starboard side to pick up Bill and me. We had to climb down the Jacob’s ladder (about 9 meters from the ship to the boat) to get onboard.

Being pulled back up onto the Dyson
Being pulled back up onto the Dyson

I was the last one in. We were on our way. Or so we thought. Dennis started yelling to the ship that he lost throttle. Could only go forward-not reverse. We came back to the ship and tied up. The waves were really pushing us into the ship. They told Bill and I to get out. An engineer climbed down, and 5 minutes later the problem was solved. It was just a pin that had come loose inside the gearbox.Time to board again! And we were off to St. Paul. The waves were nice and rolling so we didn’t get a lot of splash. We went past a red metal buoy that was really dented. Look like a boat ran it over, but they said it was from the ice. The dock where we were supposed to drop off Bill had been taken out of the water because of all the ice.

We went to a boat ramp and let him off there. Amber and I took our picture on St. Paul. Back in the boat—time to get back to the ship.The ship looked so little and far away, but we made it back in about 15 minutes. It was much rougher going this direction. This time I got to say on the boat as they attached the crane and brought us up. I was nothing but smiles for the rest of the day. This has to go down as the best day so far. Started off with sea ice, found my chapstick I lost about 4 days ago, went in the rescue boat, saw a Grey whale, filet mignon and au gratin potatoes for dinner, and played Apples to Apples for the first time. Wow! What a day!

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