As a little boy, I remember so well the anticipation of opening an intriguing Christmas present, of the thrill of getting a new bike, of the joy of going on a fishing trip with my dad. Several weeks ago, I re-entered that little boy’s world of excitement as a 58 year old man. My heart is thumping. I feel giddy. I announce my news wherever I go.
I am heading to sea! I was accepted into NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program. On Saturday, I leave for Ketchikan, Alaska to join up with the crew of NOAA’s research vessel, the Rainier. We head out to sea the following Monday for 11 days of an immersion into the scientific world of hydrographic surveying. I get a chance to be part of the crew as I learn to use sonar to read the bottom of the ocean and the contours of the shoreline. As I understand the work, we are in the business of collecting gigabytes of data to be fed into the computers. Those data result in updated navigations charts to guide all future ships.
This is exciting on a number of levels. Going to sea is new. I have never had the inclination for bringing the city along on a luxurious tourist cruise package with a thousand + other people, but going to sea on a research vessel is thrilling. I have never been to Alaska. In an email exchange with the captain of the ship, he said, “Make sure to bring a camera. We will be surveying in the most wild and beautiful place in America.” I have my camera and long for the sights.
As part of the Teacher at Sea program, I will be connecting back with my educational community. My last week of the semester for my elementary science methods class is next week. We’ll be connecting with an Edmodo site and my Teacher at Sea blog http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/2013/lindquist.html I will also be connecting with my old school, Crossroads Elementary, and my grandson, Logan’s class in Traverse City, MI.
I invite you all to visit my official blog page for regular posts of the trip. I will continue smaller posts here and on Facebook. I think I might try out Twitter (wlind77) as well.
No matter how you spell it, I am thrilled to head out on this grand adventure!