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Journals 2006/2007

Elaine Paulishak
Mid Valley Secondary Center, Throop, PA

"Alaska Hydrographic Surveys of the Shumagin Islands"
Research Vessel: NOAA Ship Fairweather
July 17- 26, 2006
Journal Index:
July 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23
       24 - 25 - 26

Additional Resources

July 17, 2006
Where in the World is Ms. Paulishak?

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?

Fairweather S 220 is part of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) fleet. Fairweather is a Hydrographic Survey Ship, Second class, Ship # 20. Hence S220. For additional ship characteristics, go to: View full version pop-up.

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.

Here the Galley staff would prepare meals or bake a delicious dessert or snack. Salad or fruit were always available, too. View full version pop-up.   The mess was on deck D and had enough seating for all of the personnel on the ship. View full version pop-up.

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.

The instruments are not in use at this time and are covered. The bridge has a row of windows for good visibility and they have automatic wipers on them in case of rain. The CO's chair can be seen on the port side of the bridge. View full version pop-up.

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.

Ms. Paulishak state room # SR C-05-106 is on deck C. View full version pop-up.

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.

Kodiak Island is located approximately 250 miles Southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The Alutiiq Eskimos were native to the island. For more history, go to View full version pop-up.

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.

View of the ocean from Abercrombie State Park, Kodiak Island, Alaska. View full version pop-up.   This round bunker is known as a "pill box." There are steps on the left side of the structure. The structure seemed very solid and stable. Inside one could look out across the bay and observe any incoming ships or aircraft. There were a number of other bunkers located around the island. View full version pop-up.