Saturday, April 23, 2011

Welcome back to Alaska

Well following a seven month Hiatus from the land of the last frontier, and a great winter traveling in Guatemala and Mexico, then California and Washington for a couple of months, I find myself in the land of Deja Vu. It seems as though I never left Alaska last summer and I find myself back here in Seward once again. A week ago we touched down at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage to a rare and glorious sunny day. Skies that shined of cobalt blue and a sprinkle of dusty snow left on the ground, not the same Anchorage I left last September. Apparently they experienced a fairly mild winter and there was hardly any snow on the ground. I have returned for another summer season of work for the same company, although a different position and a different location. Right now I am training in Seward where I have been since last Monday. This year I will be a Marine Science Explorer workshop instructor at the Prince William Sound Location. I am stretching myself and going out of my comfort zone quite a bit. In the early spring for the first few weeks school groups come out for workshops in Marine Science on the boats, each location has different topics and you would of thought I would of wanted Seward again for Marine Mammals, however after conversing with the one of the instructors last year before I left she talked me into trying the Whittier program I will be teaching Geology and Glaciology which are not my strong points, however I am learning as well and how to teach it to mostly 4th and 5th graders. The workshops are 25 minutes and we have to cover a lot in that short a period of time, so on top of learning all the information, then having to put it together in a way that flows and that 4th and 5th graders can understand. I have taught workshops before, however it was art expression, so this is all new. I like the challenge and I am learning as well,although it takes my brain longer now that I have grown into an older and wiser, yet retaining new information is taking longer. I have attempted a couple of rehearsals and have stumbled a bit, yet I am hoping with practice that is will flow together. Fortunately there are two returning instructors on top of new newbies, both who know a lot and have done it for awhile... I now know that I can take on new info, it is just a matter of putting the words and my mouth together. In addition we we also have four short 10 minute workshops that are optional which are Salinity Analysis, Plankton Analysis, a short talk on the Kittiwake Rookery and one more... anyway, wish me luck. Next year, granted I enjoy it and all goes with flying colors I would prefer to be here for Marine Mammals, the one main plus of Prince William Sound is the water is protected and there are very few barf bags to pass out, LOL. Anyway, a new challenge, and trusting there will not be too much babysitting or disciplinary action to take.

Outside of my brain feeling a bit overwhelmed I have mainly been coming home and passing out. The first day we did go out on a boat to observe the staff here in Seward, and we had a lot of animals on the trip that day. As soon as we departed out of the Harbor a playful Sea otter joined us. We watched an observe him cleaning himself and Sea Otters are always a welcome treat for everyone on the boat. Before we pulled into Thumb cove for the first class we had a bald Eagle perched on an island in the middle of the bay and I never tire of them. It helped to watch the classes here, altough the subject matter is different, yet it did give me an idea of how to conduct my workshop. Anyway, after the classes were done, we headed out to Cape Resurrection for a look at the Steller Sea Lion Rookeries and the Kittiwakes who have arrived for breeding season.

We were also lucky to have seas of glass and very little wind, so that made for a pleasant trip. Once we began our way back into Resurrection Bay we got word that a pod of Orcas were up there, so of course I was elated that my spirit friends decided to join us. As we got closer they were a fair ways away, yet it is always exciting to see them no matter what. Captain Mark had thought they might be transients, yet there was no confirmation as to whether they were or not. Anyway, that made for a great day out out on the boat and I felt as though I never even left last summer.

Wish me good luck with my new adventure and I hope to keep everyone posted of all the wonderul sightings I have this summer.


Anonymous said...

this makes me happy.

Ravenskydancer said...

thanks sweetie....