The view of Dutch Harbor from the ship
    This is the view of Dutch Harbor from the Oceanus.
    Following the outline of the Alaskan coastline from my plane window, I saw large areas of wetlands and bogs finally give way to snowcapped volcanoes and mountains. Finally the plane descended through voluminous cloud layers and wove among the lush green mountains of Unalaska. And with a sudden jarring stop, which other passengers said was characteristic of Dutch Harbor landings, I was finally here.

    Moments after getting my bags, I was met by the team of scientists on this expedition and we got lunch. Returning to the ship after lunch, we were on warp speed getting the Oceanus, our home for the next nine days, ready for the cruise. When I got to the ship in the early afternoon, all the equipment had been moved on board, but it still needed to be secured.

    Mary Beth Decker with microscope
    Mary Beth Decker is getting the microscope ready.

    I was tasked with securing cartons with bungee cords. Apparently, we are in store for some huge waves that can easily overturn cartons. I also heard testimony at dinner tonight that the same happens to stomachs.

    Hongsheng Bi and bungee cords
    Hongsheng Bi has a never-ending supply of bungee cords.

    Later this evening, Mary Beth Decker gave a talk about jellyfish, their effects on marine food webs, and the purpose of researching them at the Museum of the Aleutians. I followed with information about PolarTREC and my role on this expedition. By the time we got to the ship, it was 10:30 p.m. and light outside. Tomorrow we have a mandatory ship meeting and the drills: Man Overboard! and Fire! and then it's anchors away.

    Dutch Harbor, Alaska
    Weather Summary
    Partly cloudy
    53 F


    Rebecca Harris

    Congratulations and bon voyage! Your journals are helping me get so excited! Thanks for the wonderful stories.