September 6, 2008 An ending and a beginning!
Well, the Triathlon was a bit over a month ago, I have been back in the classroom for almost as long, and feel terribly guilty for taking this many weeks to post my last, but then beginning journal entry. Let me explain:The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HEALY docked in Dutch Harbor, Alaska on July 31st. The next twenty four hours were a frenzy of activity with the unloading of scientific personnel and their equipment. It was also the first opportunity for the crew of the HEALY to get a little well deserved shore time, so people were very active.
Up, up and away!
The begining 2.5 miles were up hill, and the scenery was spectacular!
The first chore of the day after the set up of the broud (gangway) was the offloading of trash, a months worth and what a hoot. The crane would sling over a net filled with bags and then any and all volunteering individuals would grab and swing up into the dumpster their dripping, bulky smelly burdens, it was actually fun.
Everyone then appeared to scatter and as I stood looking on, I must admit to a feeling of melancholy, for these people had become my family for the past month.
The gangway, a bridge linking the HEALY to land!
The off-loading has begun, for scientists and their gear are starting to disembark!
I helped unload boxes, run errands and made myself useful until the next morning when I participated in my first triathlon...I loved every minute. Even with a months worth of pop-tarts lining my hips the exercise was a treat as I ran down Mt. Ballyhoo watching the scenery and loving life! But then the run, bike swim was over and I was on a plane heading to Anchorage, then Seattle, a hop to Los Angeles and home to Flagstaff.
So here I am, back in Flagstaff teaching, preparing for my first ever marathon and working with a wonderful new group of students in sharing about the Bering Sea! My students and I are writing to over five scientists from the BEST cruise who have generously volunteered to be our pen-pals. We have gotten directions from Pat Kelly on how to develop sediment traps for our pond and David Shull on how to design our own version of sediment sampling equipment for the bottom of the pond. We are wondering about iron, comparing krill to local micro fauna and immersing ourselves in an Arizona aquatic world and comparing it to the Bering Sea.
Giavanna, Ricky, and Uriel working on figuring out the perimeter of Francis Short Pond!
**Next week we work on finding the area of our pond and get in our own little row boat, yes Jillian's class is heading to sea, well, water at least! **
Life is good!
Stay tuned, for now that I am finally settled into my educational routine the students and I will have a lot of science to share!