Anne Mortimer: Thank you, Oscar Dyson! July 21, 2011

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Anne Mortimer
Onboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
July 4 — 22, 2011 

Mission: Pollock Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Gulf of Alaska
Date: July 21, 2011

Weather Data from the Bridge

  • Conditions: overcast
  • Air Temperature: 11.6°C
  • Sea Temperature: 9.3°C
  • Air Pressure: 1007.6 mbar
  • Wind Speed: 12.71 knots
  • Wind Direction: 214°

Personal Log

My trip on the Oscar Dyson is coming to a close, so this will be my final blog as we make our 15-hour trip back to Kodiak. I have the night off, so after I finish this blog, I’ll take one last trip to the bridge to see how thick the fog is, and then I’ll try to go to sleep by midnight. Tomorrow will be a final stateroom cleaning and then off to the airport. I’ll be in Bellingham by late evening.

Sunset in Shelikof

This 3-week trip has been an incredible journey. Arriving in Kodiak, I was struck at the remoteness and scale of this beautiful place. Traveling through the Shumigan Islands and Shelikof Strait only solidified my understanding of how very vast, rugged, and wild Alaska is, and that was only my experience from a ship! I feel very fortunate that I was able to come here, and be welcomed by both the science team and ship’s crew aboard the Oscar Dyson. Living on a ship is a unique and challenging experience. Working alongside scientists that are passionate about their impact on the ocean was inspiring. Witnessing the challenges of making a 540-net successfully trawl through the ocean for an hour in wind and swell is impressive.

Our last trawl: Anne the Slimer, measuring juvenile pollock.

Although my adventure as a NOAA Teacher at Sea is over, I am confident that this will not be the end of my connections with NOAA and the science team. Being so close to Seattle, Neal, the lead scientist has invited me to come see the labs in Sandpoint and meet the other scientists that will  be using all of the stomachs, otoliths, and other data that I was able to assist with. This trip has shown me that science is messy, things get broken, and the weather may not always cooperate. Problems and challenges arise all the time and scientists must communicate with each other and the ship’s crew, problem-solve, and persevere in order to make this trip worthwhile and collect data that has a very important roll in Alaska fisheries. I am very grateful for all of their generosity in helping me be a part of their mission.

THANK YOU to NOAA, scientists, crew of Oscar Dyson, and Teacher at Sea Program support! I had an amazing time!

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