Edge of the Arctic Shelf
Daily Update
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A view looking aft from the bow of the Healy.
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Daily Update

Dispatch 05 - September 14, 2003
By C. A. Linder

Weather conditions: Overcast skies, 5 kt winds, 1-2 ft seas, air temperature 32°F

First Impressions
Going to sea is a unique experience. For an oceanographer, it is an incredible thrill to get a firsthand view of the waters you are studying. This cruise is exciting in an additional way - we get to conduct our science from the most technologically advanced icebreaker in the US fleet. Our science crew members have a wide range of seagoing experience, from first timer to veteran of 26 years. I decided to ask them what their impressions were about the first few days of this cruise. What is perhaps most telling about the quotes is that each person came up with a different comment.

Rebecca Woodgate: "The size of the ship is amazing -- the lab space and hold capacity are huge. Healy is a floating research lab."

Bob Pickart: "This ship is quieter than my house! I feel like I'm sleeping in a floating hotel."

Moonrise over the Chukchi Sea.
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Tire tracks
Mooring expert David Leech stands ready to deploy the Barrow Canyon mooring.
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John Kemp: "I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the initial sea/ice trials for the Healy that were conducted in Baffin Bay back in 2000. Our mission was to evaluate the ship's handling equipment and to ensure it was capable of deploying and recovering moorings in heavy ice and open water conditions. The demonstrations were a total success. I came away in awe of the ship's ability to maneuver and the capability the ship has to conduct all aspects of science at sea."

Daniel Torres: "I love the big screen TV. It makes me feel at home (although it's not quite as big as mine!)."

Ryan Schrawder: "The crew has been nothing but extremely helpful and friendly. I would also like to comment on the food, it has been great. Not too fancy, just right...and tons of things to choose from."

Christina Courcier: "It is early on but my highlight for this experience so far remains the aviation- I felt really comfortable & safe in the chopper on the way out here; it added a new, and extra thrilling dimension to going to sea for me. I have always been impressed with the men & women who navigate the ships I have been on in the past five years with WHOI, but the additional skill and expertise it takes to pilot the air waves is an impressive package, all in house!"

Val Schmidt: "Clearly the most remarkable detail about the Healy is how well she rides. You hardly know you're at sea, at least until the thrusters are engaged."

Andreas Muenchow: "The most amazing feature of the Healy is the ease with which I can access almost all sensor data both as screen dumps, ASCII output, or binary data files. I can even peek from my Mac over the shoulders of the CTD operators, ADCP operators, etc. all at once from anywhere on the ship. Thanks to Joe DiGiovanni to keep up with all the networking of the sensors and labs."

Sarah Zimmermann: "The most unusual thing out here has to be PAGERS! I am used to having telephones on board but a pager is a completely new way of tracking someone down."

Marshall Swartz: "This ship's size and resources go far beyond the University National Ocean Laboratory System (UNOLS) ships I'm used to! Maybe the worst part of the Healy is that we're getting spoiled."

I'll finish this segment with a great quote from Lisa Munger.

Lisa Munger: "I think the best thing about the Healy is the crew. Everyone is so willing to help, and even with the latest and greatest technology I think the human touch is what makes this ship amazing."

As the cruise progresses, I'll be highlighting different aspects of the ship and her hardworking crew, from the engine room to the aloft conn.

We are now steaming north, towards the ice edge. We have successfully completed a CTD section across Barrow Canyon and redeployed the University of Alaska, Fairbanks mooring. We are all eagerly anticipating our first views of the ice.

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