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1 - Departing Pearl Harbor
by Carlie Wiener
here to see where the Hi'ialakai is now.
here to see current data from the ship.
NOAA Ship Hi‘ialakai unties its last rope. Credit: Derek
As the Hi‘ialakai pulls out of Pearl Harbor, we are
finally on our way out to sea. I am surprised by the dramatic
rolling of the ship on such a calm day, and find it very
challenging to gain balance.
NOAA Ship Hi‘ialakai leaves Pearl
Harbor. Credit Carlie Wiener.
You can definitely pick out
the experts who are used to living aboard a ship, as they
are the only ones walking a straight line. After a few hours
out of port we leave Oahu in the distance and head out for
open ocean. The deep royal blue of the Pacific seems
to extend forever, contrasting against the light blue skies.
Looking at O'ahu. Credit Carlie Wiener.
The scientists are eagerly getting settled into their living
quarters, setting up their laptops and equipment in the dry
lab. There is a lot of dive equipment which gets neatly tucked
away in the dive lockers. The chief scientist on the boat,
pulls in the team for a welcome and informs them of our tentative
plan. We are heading straight for Pearl and Hermes Atoll
to begin our adventure, as many of the scientists are eager
to get in the field.
Setting up the GPS units. Credit Kelvin Gorospe.
Some of Steve Carl’s team
sets up a GPS transmitter on the top deck. This is so the
unit can get a head start in locating itself in the Pacific
Ocean. It does this by reading its site off various satellites,
from four different units in order to triangulate or map
the location. As evening falls the buzz from our departure
begins to mellow as people settle into the rolling lull of
the boat. In the evening, the boat deck seems to be the popular
place to be. With a magnificent sunset in view, the ocean
appears so calm, glass like almost. I am very thankful for
these calm seas as I am not sure if I could handle any more
movement in the boat.
The Hi‘ialakai deck at sunset, boobie on mast. Credit
Once the sun sets, the stars and moon
begin to shine, I am surprised by how bright the moonlight
is. The night is fairly clear with a nice, light breeze gracing
the ship deck. Luckily, one of the scientists on board is
familiar with some of the constellations, giving us some
background on the stars and their placement in the sky. As
I climb up to the top bunk of my bed I look forward to the
next day’s activities, and eagerly await
the adventures at sea. From the Hi‘ialakai a hui hou!
Scientists meet in the dry lab. Credit Carlie Wiener.
here for maps of the region