Edge of the Arctic Shelf
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High rollers at the craps table.
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Daily Update

Dispatch 25 - October 4, 2003
By C. A. Linder

Weather conditions: Overcast skies, 15 kt winds, 3-4 ft seas, air temperature 28°F

High Rollers
Today was one of those days that makes you want to curl up by a nice warm fire with a hot chocolate. We've got the hot chocolate, but the closest thing to a warm fire is standing under one of the exhaust vents on the ship...

It felt a bit more Arctic on deck due to an overnight dusting of snow that coated the decks. A biting cold wind made today's 28°F weather feel even colder. We spent the morning finishing off the line of CTD casts that started late last night. In the meantime, Dan Torres worked to reassemble the mooring acoustic doppler current profilers so that they would be ready to deploy. This afternoon John Kemp led another successful mooring deployment - only three to go on the WHOI array.

CTD snow
CTDs - rain, shine, or snow.
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These three questions come from Mrs. Cadwell's 5th grade class at Varnum Brook Elementary School.

Question from Olivia and Evie: Has the Healy ever gotten stuck?
Answer: I asked Healy's skipper, Captain Oliver, about this one. He told me how the Healy got stuck in the ice during the ice trials cruise in spring 2000. He answers:

"We were trying to get into Home Bay, Baffin Island, Canada, to break some fast ice [ice that is anchored to land, instead of freely floating]. As we pulled in, we got pinned between two massive floes - we were in between the fast ice and the sea ice. For eight hours we were pinned firmly in place by the ice. The wind was pushing us sideways through the ice, causing the ship to heel over 4-5 degrees. The port side was breaking ice even as broken bits of ice piled up on the starboard side. Ice chunks had jammed into the rudders, so we had no way to steer the ship. After 8 hours the tide changed and a lead [an opening in the ice] opened up around us. The ship rolled back up and we were free. There was no damage to the ship."

Thanks to Captain Oliver for that answer.

Taylor from Varnum Brook Elementary School has two questions about the Healy.
Questions from Taylor: How far up the side of the boat does the water go? (How far is the water from the deck?) How deep is the water line from the bottom of the boat?
Answer: Hi Taylor, thanks for the questions. There are two measurements that define these quantities. One is the draft. This is the distance from the very bottom of the ship (the keel) to the waterline. Healy's draft (fully loaded) is 29 feet. The other quantity is called freeboard. This is the distance from the deck down to the waterline. It's about 15 feet on the Healy. Therefore the distance from the main deck down to the very bottom of the ship is 44 feet.

A tiny visitor left us some footprints.
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This question comes from Mrs. Cadwell's class.

Question: We have cabin fever .. as sung by the muppets... come and sing with us! .... we discussed that this might be the case and were wondering what things you and the crew might be doing to avoid total insanity.
Answer: This is a good question indeed! Although it's day 25 for our science party (and that seems like forever sometimes), the crew has been on the Healy since June!! As you can imagine, you have to get pretty inventive to fight off the monotony of seeing the same things day after day and being confined to such a small area. Aside from the normal diversions on the ship such as the gym and movies, every so often some special fun and games are arranged. Tonight, for instance, was "casino night." High rollers tried their hands at the tables, including craps, blackjack, and rock-paper-scissors. Thousands of fake "Healy dollars" changed hands!

Happy Birthday to Lisa Munger today! She celebrated by deploying her third and final Acoustic Recording Package. She was last seen heading back to the casino, so maybe she'll win it big tonight.

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