Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An impromptu field trip- A Trawler!

It's late and I'm tired so forgive me if this is rambling. After a fun day today of playing in the tundra and forging in the rain, we came home and were playing a board game this evening when I received a phone call from the medical director at the clinic. One of the trawlers/floating processors was at dock for 24 hours and she had arranged for a tour for the new PAs with the boats medical officer. She extended an invitation to us. It was 5:47, the tour was at 6. LOL. Good thing the town is super small :)

Field trip! I quickly got A ready and we headed to the spit to find the American Dynasty. We met the rest of the group there and boarded the boat. Its amazing that we were able to just walk up the gang plank with out anyone stopping us. It was slippery, steep, and pretty windy on the way up, and when we got about 2/3 of the way it the wind really gusted and A held tight as she looked down at the icy cold Bering Sea beneath us and said "I'm not sure this was such a good idea!" But we made it up, and were directed to the galley where we met our awesome tour guide.
After a stop at his pharmacy where he told us about the medicines they stock, the most common injuries, and their problems with MRSA (YIKES! 4 people to a tiny tiny room and 8 sharing a bathroom) as well as how difficult it is when to treat an injury when they are hundreds of miles from medical care and not due back in port for 2 weeks, he lead us up to the bridge. The control room of the boat. This room was amazing. Screens everywhere showing what is under the water, where other boats are, courses, etc.

A was very interested in this room. This boat just came in after 2 weeks fishing right near the Russian border and I snapped this shot of her standing in front of a chart of their course and where they fished.
She then got to sit in the Captain's chair. She loved this, but shot me quite a barb later when she said "I don't think you could drive that boat. I don't think you could even find your way up to the captain's chair" ZING! LOL. Actually the passages are quite a labyrinth.
Her is a view from the bridge.
After thoroughly exploring the control room, we headed down to the actual factory where the fish are processed on board the boat. Its amazing to think of the work these people do. Most are immigrants. Currently about half are from North Africa and are political refugees escaping the wars their. They work 12 hour shifts, live in extremely cramped quarters, and basically do nothing but work, sleep, and eat.


As I said, this boat is a trawler, which basically means they pull a gigantic net along behind them and scoop up fish, in this case pollack. The next extends out over 8 boat lengths behind the boat and the mouth is large enough for the statue of liberty to fit inside!!!!!
After grabbing a snack inside the galley, we headed back down the gang plank. We had such a fun adventure and learned so much.


Here is a shot of the finished products- boxes of frozen fish, processed at sea, ready to ship to a store/restaurant neat you.
It was an Awesome field trip, and yet another reason I love living here. where else can one experience this? A's favorite area of the boat- the Captain's chair. No surprise there. She likes to be in control! LOL. Her least favorite area was the actual engine room. She liked the engine control room, but the engine itself was very noisy in such a confined space.

Such a wonderful spur of the moment field trip. I hope yall enjoyed taking this trip with us through pics. If you have any questions about the boat, fishing, or processing process just ask. I will try to answer them. We were on the boat over and hour and a half, so there was a LOT to take in!

Night all!

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