Mary Patterson, July 2, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: July 2, 2009

When the American flag is flown on a U.S. ship it is called an “Ensign.”

When the American flag is flown on a U.S. ship it is called an “Ensign.”

Science and Technology Log 

The life of a mariner can be summed up in two words: adventurer and problem-solver. For a hydrographer, the commute to work can be filled with more danger than driving down a busy interstate highway. Perils such as whales, rocks and other boat traffic can be ultimately more dangerous than avoiding road construction debris. However, for an adventurer, it is a chance to see the world and interact with nature. These scientists go out everyday in order to make our waterways safer. They go out seven days a week, often for three weeks at a time, rain or shine. They have to know about the interactions of weather and the ocean, how to fix computer and technological equipment, survival skills, basic first aid and radio communication. They live in small, shared spaces and function as a team.

NOAA Ship Rainier’s call numbers

NOAA Ship Rainier’s call numbers

Many of the mariners I’ve met aboard the Rainier, can’t see themselves at any other kind of job! The stories they tell about how they came to be on board the Rainier suggest their adventuresome spirit. These are people used to doing things, being active and committed to making a difference in the world. For example, a seaman by the name of Hauerland is working on completing a documentary he created on the plight of homeless American Vets. Another seaman studies Japanese in order to be able to communicate with international seaman. It has indeed been a privilege to be allowed a glimpse of their world and to work beside them these last three weeks.

As we pull into port at Seward, the adventure continues for some. On their free time, some are going sky-diving, some plan 12 mile hikes to a glacier and some join in a race up and down Mt. Marathon in Seward. Living life to the fullest is what it’s all about.

Teacher at Sea Mary Patterson

Teacher at Sea Mary Patterson

Personal Log 

From the first day that I received word that I was accepted as a 2009 Teacher at Sea, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with real scientists in the field so I could share my experiences with my students. Then reality hit and I wondered if I would be seasick, if I would be able to understand what the scientists were doing, if I would find my way around the ship ok and if I would always be cold. Well, I never got sick, (thanks to the patch) the scientists explained everything they did…sometimes two or three times until I got it.  I found my way around the ship easily, and wearing layers and my giant orange float coat kept me toasty.

Never would I have imagined how quickly you could become attached and made to feel like part of a team. From the CO (Commanding Officer) who would sit and play guitar hero with the crew, to the NOAA Corp officers who answered millions of nautical questions, to the engineers who patiently explained how they kept our ship running, to the stewards who cooked favorites that kept you from being homesick, to the deckhands who made sure my short little legs got me across the great expanse of water when I leaped into the launch boats, and then taught me to drive a boat and even made me the best hot chocolate ever, and to the scientists who had to explain every step of what they were doing and then gave me chances to help (despite the fact that I could seriously mess up their data with just one mistake)… to them I say a heartfelt thank you for an opportunity of a lifetime. The only thing better than working on the Rainier is being a Teacher at Sea on the Rainier and having the chance to share this experience with my students, colleagues and friends back home.

Thought of the Day 

Science doesn’t just exist between four walls in laboratory. All scientists don’t wear white lab coats and have black-framed glasses. Science is an ever-changing, dynamic way to interpret our world. Science is EXCITING!

A final sunset through my porthole

A final sunset through my porthole

Mary Patterson, June 29, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 29, 2009

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Broken clouds
Wind 6 kts
10 mi visibility
Pressure 1023.9 mb
Dry Bulb Temp 7.8 ˚C, 46˚ f Wet bulb 6.7˚C, 44˚ f
Seas 0-1 ft.
Water temp 7.2˚C

Small “bite” on the propeller

Small “bite” on the propeller

Science and Technology Log 

During one of the launch missions of the day, one boat ran aground on an uncharted rock. Immediately, they radioed in and announced that all were safe and they were attempting to back off the rock. Another launch in the vicinity radioed in that they were available to help if needed. Safety is always a priority! The launch was able to get past the rock safely and came back to the ship to be checked out. After the boat was picked up by the gravity davits, the damages were checked out. A few bites out of the propeller and some scrapes across the keel were the extent of the damages. I discovered that extra parts such as a propeller are often kept on board for emergencies such as this. The crew switched launches and went back out to continue surveying.

Gravity Davits

Gravity Davits

After all launches return, there is a daily survey meeting where each HIC (Hydrographer in charge) reports what they accomplished that day and any problems they had with weather, computers, hardware, software or boat issues. Many times, this turns into a great discussion and problem-solving opportunity. This is a true community of scientists communicating and sharing ideas. The group tries to understand a problem so that it is not repeated. Especially after today, I can truly understand the importance of the work this ship and its crew does every day. We saw a tug towing a barge and several fishing boats in the area today. I can only imagine what could happen if they were to run aground. The survey work being done in this area is essential for mariners. Other work done aboard the ship today included taking bottom samples from the seafloor as we moved to another anchorage. This task required communication from the bridge to the fantail (back of the boat) and the fantail to the plot room and the plot room to the bridge.  For the first shift, I worked in the plot room.  I used the Hypack software that shows an electronic navigation chart to tell the bridge where we wanted the next sample to take place.

Collecting seafloor samples

Collecting seafloor samples

The bridge navigated to that location and gave the fantail permission to sample the seafloor. The scientists on the fantail operated a claw-like device to collect the seafloor samples. As they lowered the claw, they radioed to the plot room to tell us how far down it was in 25 m increments. When it reached bottom, I marked that spot on the computer. Then, the fantail radioed as the claw came back up to the surface and finally, what was in the sample. The scientists on the fantail used a chart to identify the size and type of particles found. I made notes as to what was found in the sample on the electronic navigation chart. My partner used Caris Notebook to enter the attributes of the seafloor surface. Then, it was my job to show the bridge, via the electronic navigation chart, where the next target was located. Most of the seafloor we sampled was identified as green, sticky, mud. However, one sample held worms and another held some fine gravel and some broken shells. My next shift was down on the fantail, collecting the samples. This was a great time to dig in the mud! My final shift was back in the plot room logging in the samples.

Personal Log 

Collecting seafloor samples

Collecting seafloor samples

I was initiated into the bottom sample crew with a swath of mud smeared on my face. Later, I realized what a great sea mud mask I could have and wished I’d kept a bucket full of that mud! As we completed our transit to our next anchorage, I spent some time on the bridge. As the conning officer called out instructions, the helmsman and the EOT (Engine Order Telegraph) officer repeated the instruction and ended with “Aye.” I asked if they really had to say “Aye” and ENS Reed explained to me that “Aye” is a confirmation that they have understood the direction given. For example, If the direction was engines full ahead, and you did not say “Aye,” it would mean that the engines were already at full ahead.

Another interesting thing I found on the bridge was the words “left” and “right” on plaques attached beside the front windows on the bridge. I thought for sure that these incredibly smart mariners would know their right from their left without a visual reminder. Again, I was told that it has to do with safety and communication. Think about the times you were driving and you told someone to take a right and they went left by accident. On the ship, the order is given to go right and the helmsman looks at the plaque and turns correctly. This is crucial for stressful situations such as a whale crossing your path or narrow passages etc.

Did You Know? 

The EOT (Engine Order telegraph) term dates back to when a pilot wanting to change speed would “ring” the telegraph on the bridge, moving the handle to a different position on the dial. This would ring a bell in the engine room and move their pointer to the position on the dial selected by the bridge. The engineers would move their handle to the same position to signal their acknowledgment of the order, and adjust the engine speed accordingly. This term is still used today even though the bridge can control the engines from their control panel. The same is true of the phrase, “steam ahead.” Even though few modern ships are steam powered, it is a phrase that has come into common usage.

Hydrographer in Charge, Ian Colvert, and me with my “initiation” mud mask!

Hydrographer in Charge, Ian Colvert, and my “initiation” mud mask!

Mary Patterson, June 28, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 28, 2009

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Few clouds
Wind 10 kts
10 mi visibility
Pressure 1024 mb
Dry Bulb Temp 8.3˚ C, 47˚f Wet bulb 6.7˚ C, 44˚f
Seas 0-1 ft.
Water temp 7.8˚C

Science and Technology Log 

One of two main diesel engines

One of two main diesel engines

Today, I got to take a tour of the engine room. The first thing I noticed was how amazingly clean the forty-year old engines are kept. This is definitely a crew that takes pride in keeping their ship shipshape! There are two diesel engines. Each engine is about the size of a small car. There are twenty fuel tanks scattered throughout the ship. The Rainier does not carry any extra ballast, so the fuel tanks are often leveled and balanced for ballast. The Rainier can hold up to 107,000 gallons of fuel. Whew! I definitely would not want to pay that fuel bill! The ship can go through 120 gallons of fuel an hour. Oil is recycled using an oily water separator that can hold 1,700 gallons.  

Electrical control panel

Evaporator distiller

The engineering department also maintains the water evaporative distillers. These two evaporators can produce up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater (from saltwater) a day. The saltwater is heated to its boiling point and the evaporating freshwater is then cooled and collected. Normal consumption of freshwater for the ship is 3,500 gallons a day. Everyone tries to take quick showers. Toilets are flushed using saltwater. Faucets on the sink limit water usage by having to be held in the on position. You can’t just let water run from the faucet.  All of the electrical systems for the ship are monitored in the engineering control room. In an emergency, they can even control the steering of the ship.

An incinerator on the ship also takes care of some of the wastes produced. In the mess hall areas, there are labeled bins for recycling plastics, mixed paper and burnables. Those items that are burnable get incinerated while we are out at sea. Not only does the engineering crew take care of the ship’s main engines, they also maintain and troubleshoot the six launch engines as well.

Personal Log 

Electrical control panel

Electrical control panel

One of the first things I noticed in the engine room was the safety signs and equipment. No one could enter the area without hearing protection and I spotted several eye wash stations like ones we use at school. There were handrails and clear walkways and everything had labels. It’s great to see things we emphasize at school about safety are in the “real world” too.

Thought of the Day 

For this 18 day voyage, how much freshwater was consumed?

Eye wash station

Eye wash station

 

Mary Patterson, June 24, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 24, 2009

Sunset in the Pavlof Islands

Sunset in the Pavlof Islands

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Overcast
Wind Light
6 mi visibility
Pressure 1009.1 mb
Dry Bulb Temp 6.7˚ C Wet bulb 6.7˚ C
Seas 0-1 ft.
Water temp 6.1˚ C 42˚ F

Science and Technology Log 

Once the data has been collected by the survey boats, it needs to be processed into meaningful information. The data from the boats is called raw data and it is saved onto a thumb drive. The assistant survey tech takes the thumb drive and loads the data into the computers on the ship. From here, the raw data is imported into a software program called CARIS Hips and Sips. CARIS is the primary hydrographic data processing software. It is used to:

  • Merge all sensor data into a common reference frame
  • Apply various correctors to sounding data
  • Edit sounding data in both time and spatial domain
  • Create gridded surfaces (BASE. CUBE)
  • Review side scan data and select contacts
  • Prepare data deliverables for the hydrographic branches 
Flying through the surface in 3D

Flying through the surface in 3D

The night processors apply correctors for variables that can affect the data such as tides, sound velocity, true heave and TPE (total propagated error). Then they can generate a surface of the sea floor. Finally, they must look for flyers; data points that are inconsistent with the statistical model. This is where the technology is so cool! The software enables you to view the surface in 3D. Using your mouse, you can literally fly over and under your surface. The night processors add their comments to the acquisition log and create a tiff file to show the sheet managers the coverage for the day. A detailed report about the area surveyed (DR) is written and submitted. The Descriptive Report (DR) is the written record of the survey work completed in an area. It accompanies and complements the digital data. Our survey area will not be completed during this leg of the trip. After some import time in Seward, AK for the Fourth of July, the Rainier will return to the Pavlof Islands to continue their survey. After data acquisition is complete and data has been reviewed aboard the ship to ensure it meets requirements, it is signed off by the Captain, the Chief Survey Tech, the Sheet Manager, and the FOO (Field Operations Officer).  When the sheets are completed, they are sent to the Pacific Hydrological Branch in Seattle, WA.

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 8.42.55 PMThere, they will complete quality control analysis of the data and either accept or reject the survey sheet. They look for any data that is inconsistent with the required Specification and Deliverables. If the data does not meet specification, the area will likely need to be surveyed again. When the data is accepted by the branch they will further process the data to highlight important features and then send the survey sheet to the cartographers at the Marine Charting Division (MCD). The cartographers use the data submitted to place additional soundings and navigation hazards onto the US Navigation charts. A navigational hazard is generally defined as anything 1 meter shoaler than surrounding depths in water less than 20 meters deep. Currently, it may take years for a survey to be charted and reach the mariner. Critical corrections (such as DToNs -Danger to Navigation) or high priority areas can be updated more quickly.

Practicing my launch driving skills

Practicing my launch driving skills

Personal Log 

I’ve noticed that marine measurements are not consistent in their use of one system. Some measurements are in meters, some in feet, some in fathoms and some in ancient mariner terms such as shots. Since we “speak only metric,” in my class, I asked why mariners don’t stick to just one system of units.  The explanation I received makes sense. Navigation of the seas is a world-wide occurrence. Crews aboard vessels are often multi-national. Using a system that is accepted world-wide makes sense.

One of Rainier’s launches

One of Rainier’s launches

Each day I go out on the launch, I feel more a part of the team. I can comfortably cast and log data on the launch computers. I am starting to understand more about running the sonar. Each day, I get to practice my boat driving skills. Thanks especially to coxswain Foye, I have even completed a starboard side pick up for a man overboard drill! As always, safety is a key component. We practice drills on board as well as on the launches. On the launches, we do radio and iridium phone check-ins periodically. You can keep track of where we are by using Shiptracker.

Word of the Day Shot: 90 feet of chain; used to describe how much anchor chain to let out.

Mary Patterson, June 17-19, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 17-19, 2009

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Overcast
Wind 15 kts
8 mi visibility
Pressure 999.5 mb
Dry Bulb Temp 6.7 C Wet bulb 5.6 C
Seas 0-1 ft.
Water temp 6.7C, 44 F

Here I am getting ready to cast the CTD.

Here I am getting ready to cast the CTD.

Science and Technology Log 

While the weather holds, we head out on the launches to survey areas that are not charted or were last charted probably back in the time of Captain Cook. After the boats are lowered using gravity davits, 4 boats head out to survey. Upon reaching the survey area, the first thing that gets done is a casting. This consists of lowering the CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth) unit into the water at the surface for 2 minutes for calibration. Then it’s lowered to the sea floor (taking measurements as it goes) and brought back up to the surface with a winch and a pulley system. The sensor unit is cabled to the computer and the data is downloaded. This is a vital step in interpreting the sonar data. Since saltwater conducts electricity differently based on the salt concentration, using the CTD gives the hydrographer information about sound velocity at different depths.

Velocity of sound is most affected by temperature, which is also measure by the CTD.  Next, the hydrographer decides whether to use the high or low frequency transmitter depending on the depth. The hydrographer uses a lower frequency for deeper water.  Casting is often done again after lunch since temperatures can change, especially at the surface. Alaska is known for the confluence of fresh and salt water at the surface due to melting glaciers and fresh water runoff. The MVP (moving vessel profile), is another device used for sound velocity. It looks like a torpedo and it’s towed behind the boat allowing for continuous casting.

The shape of a plane has more points than a boat so is a good way to use points to line up a survey transect.

The shape of a plane has more points than a boat so is a good way to use points to line up a survey transect.

The plane you see on the picture is used instead of a boat because of the position of the GPS sensor relative to the shape. The coxswain can make the plane pivot on a point as they line up on a line to survey. On the survey, the map is broken down into polygons. Each sheet manager gets a sheet with their polygons to survey. Surveying consists of the coxswain driving the boat as they watch the computer screen. As they drive, the screen shows in real-time a swath of color indicating the swath of the beams. After surveying, the boats return to the ship and are hoisted back up onto the davits. All survey techs meet in the wardroom to discuss what happened on their survey. The Captain and FOO (Field Operation Officer) ask questions about what was surveyed and any problems they had with any equipment. This is a true community of scientists who share data and knowledge.

Worksheet with polygons completed

Worksheet with polygons completed

Personal Log 

We load the launches at 8:00 am and complete surveys until noon.  We break for lunch and unpack the ice chest packed by the cooks for us. It’s always a surprise to see what we have! Then we continue surveying until about 4:00 pm when we return back to the ship. I have had the opportunity to cast the CTD unit into the water, drive the launch and collect the data on the computers. The coxswains make driving the boat following the lines on the computer look so easy! Especially in rough seas, the coxswains do an amazing job of helping the survey techs collect data. Again, good communication is a key! I’ve also seen how the techs have to problem- solve on a daily basis.

One day we got into the launch and the engine wouldn’t start and the coxswain had to troubleshoot the problem. Another day, several boats had problems with their CTD units and they had to repeat trials several times. When you are 12 miles away from the nearest help, it’s crucial to have good problem-solving skills. After dinner, there’s time to finish writing journals, do laundry, fish off the fantail, watch a movie, play guitar hero or exercise in the gym area. Then, it’s time for bed and the day will start over again. If you are not on a survey launch, you work in the night processing lab compiling the data collected by the survey techs during the day’s launch. This includes applying various filters to clean up the “noise” or fuzziness from the sonar. The coolest part is seeing the data in three dimensions. After the data is cleaned up, the sheet managers write up a descriptive report that gets sent to Pacific Hydrographic Branch. This ship is a great example of a system: there are many separate parts that when combined with other parts, complete a task. 

Pavolf and Pavlof’s Sister are active volcanoes.

Pavolf and Pavlof’s Sister are active volcanoes.

Each night at 10 pm, fellow Teacher at Sea –Jill Stephens and I go to the bridge and collect weather data that is transmitted directly to NOAA. Although the days have started off hazy and grey, by evening we often see sunshine that lasts until 11:00 pm. This part of Alaska is breathtaking! I love watching the volcanoes, Pavlov and Pavlov’s sister, in different types of light.

Animals Seen 

Whales, Puffins, and Sea gulls.

New Word of the Day 

Cavitation: The sudden formation and collapse of low-pressure bubbles in liquids by means of mechanical forces, such as those resulting from rotation of a marine propeller. 

Mary Patterson, June 16, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 16, 2009

The sonar processor and computers

The sonar processor and computers

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Overcast
Wind 19 kts
4-6 ft seas, 9-11 ft swells
10 nautical mile visibility
Sea Temp 6.1◦ C
Sea level air pressure 1001.0 mb
Dry Bulb 8.9 Wet Bulb 8.3

Science and Technology Log 

The day was spent in 17 hours of transit to our survey location. During the day the seas turned heavy with 4-6 foot seas and 9-11 foot swells. Even some of the crew and seaman had to hold onto the walls as they walked. The ship definitely rocked and rolled! This was a great test of the trans-derm scop patch to prevent sea-sickness. I was so surprised that it worked so well.

ET John Skinner checked my computer to be sure it was virus free and then set up access to the ship’s email and internet. The ship receives internet through a satellite signal. All ship personnel have to take a computer security test in order to login to the ship’s network.

The Rainier sails through 10-foot swells!

The Rainier sails through 10-foot swells!

After completing my computer safety module, John took me and fellow Teacher at Sea, Jill Stephens, on a quick tour of the launch boats and described the technology installed on them. Each 29 foot launch boat is worth more than a million dollars with all the equipment aboard. John showed us the sound velocity meter, the high and low frequency multibeam echosounder transducers to send and receive the signal, and the computers that collect and store the data. (I’ll explain more about how these work in my next journal). Each boat also has GPS (Global Positioning System), Iridium satellite phone, AIS ship identification (Automatic Identification System that broadcasts in the VHF frequency), marine RADAR, VHF marine radio, fathometer, compass, life raft, fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems.

Here we see the low-frequency multibeam sonar on the left and the high-frequency multibeam sonar on the right.

Here we see the low-frequency multibeam sonar on the left and the high-frequency multibeam sonar on the right.

Personal Log 

After dinner, the first POD (Plan of the Day) was posted. This is produced by the FOO (Field Operations Officer). I excitedly found my name on Launch # 5. Our mission tomorrow will be to find a safe anchorage for the ship on the south side of Ukolnoi Island. We will be surveying ocean floor that has not ever been charted before. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into the ship’s routine here. Breakfast is at 7:00 am, lunch at 12 noon and dinner at 1700 (5:00PM). After dinner, I visit the Bridge and see the many instruments used to guide the ship safely. My favorite piece of equipment is the Clearview screen, or “rain spinner”. It has two pieces of glass that spin and keep the windshield clear of rain.

The Clearview screen, also called a “rain spinner”

The Clearview screen, also called a “rain spinner”

I learn that all the weather data is taken here on the bridge and then submitted to NOAA for their meteorological database.  Next, I visit the chart room where the survey techs process the data collected by the launches. Tonight, they are anxiously planning the areas to survey tomorrow. The people on the ship are so very interesting and friendly. It’s great to hear their stories of how they came to the ship and how much they enjoy the work they do.

Did You Know? 

Sergio Taguba, our Steward, has been on the Rainier the longest of anybody? He’s been here for 36 years!

Mary Patterson, June 15, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mary Patterson
Onboard NOAA Vessel Rainier 
June 15 – July 2, 2009 

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Pavlov Islands, AK
Date: June 15, 2009

A life ring aboard the Rainier

A life ring aboard the Rainier

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Overcast 10 nautical mile visibility
Sea Temp 7.2◦ C
Sea level air pressure 1015.2 mb
Dry Bulb 13.3 Wet Bulb 10.0

Science and Technology Log 

After lunch came safety training and a quick tour of the ship. We watched several videos about survival at sea, fire and abandon ship drills and even conflict resolution. Some of the same principles of conflict resolution that we use in school were in the film. JO (Junior Officer) Russell Quintero passed out our bunk cards. These cards fit into a pocket in our bunks and list all our stations for all our drills.

Next, we were fitted for our bright orange survival suits otherwise know as the “Gumby” suit. These suits are designed to help minimize the shock of extremely cold water. They may look funny, but I’d be glad we had them in an emergency. We were also issued a lightweight vest, a bright orange deck coat and a hard hat. It’s good to know that all the emphasis I put on safety in my classroom, really does translate to the real world of science. NOAA is all about safety first! After dinner, we had our first fire drill and not long after that, an abandon ship drill.

With a ship this size it is crucial that everyone knows what to do in an emergency. Usually, by dinnertime, the orders for the next day are posted in several spots throughout the ship. These list the survey boats that will be going out, their crews and where they are going and what they will survey. This is called he Plan of the Day (POD) and everyone is expected to read them when they are posted.

Being able to put out a fire on a ship is really important when you’re at sea.  There are no fire departments to save you.

Being able to put out a fire on a ship is really important when you’re at sea. There are no fire departments to save you.

Personal Log 

Excitement built as fellow Teacher at Sea, Jill Stephens and I made our way to the ship. We were greeted by ENS Matt Nardi and shown to our bunks to unpack. Our first chow in the crew mess hall was at 12 noon.  This food is nothing like cafeteria food! Our cooks, Dorethea, Raul, Floyd and Sergio like to keep the crew happy! Our first lunch was roasted veal or a chicken cheese sandwich. I also learned that there is always ice cream in the freezer and salad available 24 hours a day.

Here I am in my survival suit, also called a “Gumby” suit.

Here I am in my survival suit, also called a “Gumby” suit.

As we left the dock, we saw quite a few puffins. Those crazy birds flap and flap their wings but look afraid to fly. They are quite entertaining. We also passed approximately 50 or so sea otters playing and feeding in the kelp. Later in the evening, I saw whales spouting in the distance. I really hope we get to see one up close. As the engines were turned on, it seemed like all the jellyfish in the water came towards the ship. I wonder if they are attracted to the vibrations made by the engines. The sun set at 11:10 pm and so did I.

“New Terms/Phrases/Words” 
Bunk card, POD, Rack, Standing orders