Michele Brustolon, July 18, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Michele Brustolon
Onboard NOAA Oscar Dyson
June 28 – July, 2010

NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
Mission: Pollock Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Eastern Bering Sea (Dutch Harbor)
Date: July 18, 2010

Weather Data from descending into Logan Airport, Boston, MA

Time: 1250
Latitude: 42.36N
Longitude: 71.01W
Cloud Cover: 3/8
Wind: 17 mph
Air Temperature: 320 C/ 890 F
Water Temperature: N/A
Barometric Pressure: 29.78 inches

Farewell log
Before I knew it, I was sitting on the deck below the bridge watching the fulmars flying around the boat, seeing spray from a fin whale off the port side, and following boats as they came in and out of my line of sight.

Here I am relaxing after dinner on the Flying Deck

We were heading south back to Dutch so everyone can start their next journey. For some that means two days in port and back on the Oscar Dyson, for others it is home maybe to family and back to their land jobs. For me it means back to New Hampshire where I need to think long and hard about how I can share this experience to do it the justice it deserves.

Laughing… again!

Although I missed home at times, I have never experienced 20+ days where each day we found something to laugh hysterically about. You could say it happened because we were on the Bering Sea, but I say it happened because I was surrounded by phenomenal people. We all left something/someone behind, but I met so many people with different stories that each day I looked forward to the next. Whether it was in the wet lab trying to find something on the table we hadn’t seen yet, Willie Sliney sharing his own volcanic adventures, or hiking Mt. Pyramid in great company once back in Dutch Harbor, I have an immense amount of respect for everyone on the Oscar Dyson.

Ernesto, Paula, and Rebecca hiking Mt. Pyramid
Rebecca, Abby, Katie, and me

…to those I worked closest with, Neal, Abby, Rebecca, and Katie, for giving me the chance to experience being part of an awesome team to understand the processes involved with the pollock surveys and why they are happening.

…to those who took the time to answer my questions and help me better understand the piggy back projects and inner workings of a mission on the East Bering Sea.

…to those who made me laugh daily so I didn’t have to do as many sits up!

Things to bring along to the Bering Sea as a TAS

  • coffee mug (for drinks other than water- less waste) & water bottle (water was fantastic)
  • fleece hat (it was my best friend in the wet lab at 0400)
  • flash drive (thanks Rebecca and Katie)
  • digital camera (I have NEVER taken so many pictures)
  • more workout clothes (or Febreeze- small space in stateroom for workout clothes and shoes)

Final note
One of the most important lessons that I learned was that no matter what your background is or where you come from, your skills, dedication, and hard work are what make the city on the Oscar Dyson on the Bering Sea successful. I respect you all and thank you for an experience of a lifetime. Good luck on future adventures!

Animals Seen
squirrels and seagulls (the bald eagles of the Northeast coast)

New Hampshire- squirrel in backyard;
Rye, New Hampshire one of the many types of seagulls

Word of the Day
prosaic: commonplace, everyday

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