July 17, 2006
It's a good day to learn some nautical terms. They will give you clues to locate Ms. Paulishak. Below is a picture of the NOAA ship Fairweather. The front of the ship is the Bow; the back is the Stern; the left side is called the Port and the right side is called the Starboard side. If you are in the middle of the ship, you would go forward to the bow and aft to the stern. The "Hull" is the outside of the ship which contains all of the lower decks. Look at the picture of the Fairweather and determine which parts of the ship you are looking at: the stern, the bow, the port or starboard? Can you identify the Hull?
When you are living on a ship, there are some other terms which you may want to become familiar. The "galley" is where the kitchen is located and the food is prepared. The "mess" is where the officers and crew eat their meals. It's like our school cafeteria, but the meals are so much better since there is a Chief Steward, Kathy and two other Chefs, Mike and Jose. The mess is everyone's favorite place.
The "Bridge" is where the commanding officer and crew run the ship. There is a lot of instrumentation on the bridge for navigation and control of all systems on the ship.
Different levels on the ship are called "decks." They are designated by letters; the lowest deck is at the bottom of the ship - Deck A. The place where each person sleeps is called the "state room." State rooms aren't very spacious. People didn't spend a lot of time in state rooms. State rooms are basically for sleeping. There is a lot of work to be done on the ship and on a research vessel, operations take place around the clock when the ship is underway. There are other terms which will be explained as the expedition continues.
The Fairweather, moored at the USCG (United States Coast Guard) base in Women's Bay at Kodiak Island, Alaska, was scheduled to depart on July 17, 2006 at 1730 hours (military time equal to 530 PM). However, due to a repair needed on the ship the departure was postponed until the next day.
I learned that Kodiak has the biggest bears in the state, the Kodiak brown bear. It's one of the largest fishing ports in the nation. It's also called the Emerald Isle because it's relatively wet weather turns the mountains into lush green forests in the summer. Since the ship was not sailing yet, I had the opportunity to hike around Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park. There is a lot of flora and fauna to see on Kodiak and the rule about bears is that when you are hiking you need to make a lot of noise so that you do not startle a bear (or vice versa as the case may be). Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, I did not come across any Kodiak bears. The island has a lot of history attached to it. One can see bunkers which were built during World War II. Beautiful views of the ocean could be seen from these positions.