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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

August 11, 2004

8am. It is very foggy and we have had no sightings today. I am very cold and I decided to stay indoors. We are going into Dutch Harbour today to pick up a new engine for the small boat. Everyone is very excited about this unscheduled stop. It is a chance to see land again and a chance for each of us to make a phone call home and hear the voice of a loved one. Some of the crew has already been a month at sea during leg one. The crew I believe are allowed to make a call from the ship once a week, but scientists have to pay and they prefer we don't make any calls unless it is an emergency.

9am. We are entering the Dutch harbor. The mountains on both sides of the ship are coated in a lush green carpet and on the portside of the ship a coastguard ship is anchored next to a mountain glacier. The pier where we docked is quite a distance from the main town, so they will have a shuttle bring us to town. Many of the scientists and crewmembers decide to walk rather than wait for the shuttle.

10am. I took the shuttle into town after finding a phone on the dock and calling home. There is a modern Safeway market in the town. I decided to take a mile hike with Pete XCO and Pat. Pat used to work in Dutch harbor so he pointed out the cannery that supports most of the employment in this town. He also pointed out the oldest running Russian church in the United States.

We were told we had to be back onboard ship by 5:30pm. Everyone was back on time. I soon learned, that when they said they were going to leave, they leave. So if you didn't want to miss the ship, you made sure you were back onboard at the time stated.

Interview with Ray (intern cook)

Ray and I had a good talk. I had given him a special key chain with a sailor cook miniature hanging from it. I was taking what I learned in the Armada class from Jill. It's a good idea to make friends with the cook. Indeed that was a great idea as they always gave me extra snacks to take to my room.

Ray told me that he was divorced in 1999 and he has decided to go to sea so he could put his sons 17 and 18 through college. He is so proud of them. I can see how much he misses them and since he doesn't know how to email, he doesn't get a chance to communicate with them. I told him I would show him how to email and write to his sons. He thanked me very much and we soon became good friends.

19:51. It's nice to use navy time though it is seldom used onboard ship to my disappointment. The only time it was used was to post the time we were to be back onboard the ship.

A whale has been spotted and air one deployed. Everyone is so happy to have a boat with a new engine.

10pm. I am going to take a shower and then go to bed. Taking a shower when the boat is rocking has become a fine art.

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