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Journals 2004/2005

Linda Hoffman
Palms Middle School, West Los Angeles, California

"Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance,
and Status of Humpback whales (SPLASH)"

NOAA Ship McArthur
July 28 - August 28, 2004
Journal Index:
July 28 - 29 - 30 - 31
August 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11

          12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

          21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28

July 28, 2004

LAX 6:30 a.m. Bob was so fantastic all week while I nervously packed and unpacked one thousand times. Being a California gal I was sure I was going to freeze to death on this trip if I did not pack properly. I will call him when I think he is home and thank him again. 7:30 a.m. I boarded the plane for a straight through flight to Anchorage approximately a 5-hour flight. On board I met a friend from school and we talked the entire trip. It was amazing that we should have seats next to each other on such a large flight. I later found out that I was seated in the wrong seat!

12:30p.m. Landed in Anchorage. I had a three-hour layover before boarding the plane to Kodiak, Alaska. Jessica, one of the scientist on the trip will meet me at the gate. She is coming from San Diego. We will head out to Kodiak together.

3pm. I boarded the plane to Kodiak, approximately which was a two hour flight. After getting our luggage in the Kodiak airport, Jessica and I took a taxi out to the ship. I was very glad that Jessica was with me, as no one was onboard. I must say I was disappointed that I did not have to ask permission to board the ship. I was really looking forward to that.

I had packed one very heavy luggage and two lighter suitcases(actually one was a backpack type suitcase). Needless to say; I could not carry the very heavy suitcase down the ships steep stairs to my room. I was amazed how easily Jessica, thirty years younger than I, could handle my luggage. I later learned, only pack what you can carry when boarding a ship.

After arranging our room, I decided to briefly explore the ship. I soon found out that almost everyone onboard was in town celebrating their time in port. After a month at sea, it was time for the crew and scientists to celebrate. So Jessica and I found a scientist, Allen, who rented a car and he took us into town to find Dr. Barlow and the rest of the crew. I also wanted to get to a telephone and call Bob and my son Randy. I wanted to let them know that I arrived safely since my cell phone was not working in Alaska.

We found Dr. Barlow and the "science" gang eating dinner at a restaurant in town. I was introduced to the team and I sat down and ordered a meal. Everyone was so friendly and excited because Dr. Barlow and the team were in the local newspaper after discovering a blue whale in the near-by waters. A blue whale has never been seen this far north.

After dinner the "team" decided to see a movie in town, Farenhenheit 911. Unfortunately I saw it in California, but it was cheaper to see the movie again, then to take a taxi back to the ship, so I joined the group. It was fun watching the local residents come into the movie and greet the owner as one of their close neighbors. (which he was) I was surprised that the cost of the movie was a hefty $9.00.

It was a good thing I stayed in town with the rest of the scientists, as when we headed back to the ship we had to show our security badges to cross the navy post to get to the ship. I had forgotten my badge onboard ship. Since I was with other scientists, I was allowed through.

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