Edge of the Arctic Shelf
Daily Update
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Dutch Harbor
Dutch Harbor is socked in.
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pier side
The Polar Star is tied up at Dutch Harbor.
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personnel board
Personnel Board on the Polar Star
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Daily Update

Dispatch 29 - August 12, 2002
By C.A. Linder

Weather conditions: clear skies, winds 5 knots from the N, 2-3 ft. seas, air temperature 53° F.

Back to Dutch
I can hardly believe I am writing the last dispatch. It seems only hours ago since we left Dutch Harbor, since I couldn’t find my room, since I first saw a polar bear... since typing those first sentences of Dispatch 01. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this whole project was going to turn out - would the ship’s internet connection be good enough? Would I be able to come up with new and interesting things to write about and photograph? It has been an incredible learning experience for me - this is the first time I have ever done this! To say I’ve had fun would be a huge understatement. I visited a place so remote and beautiful that it hardly seemed like we were still on earth. I got to be part of a great science team, and our mission was an incredible success.

tug boats
Two tugs pushed the Polar Star to the pier.
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In case you hadn’t guessed, I am very passionate about photography. Over the past 29 days I have taken over 6,700 photos (4,700 digital and 2,000 color slide). I shot every picture featured in the dispatches with a Nikon Coolpix 5000 digital camera. I shot the color slides with a variety of Nikon cameras and lenses. After I get back to Woods Hole, I will be evaluating, scanning, and posting the best of the best slides on the "Image Gallery" portion of the website. Expect those images to be available by the end of September.

When we pull into Dutch Harbor tomorrow, we will be over 20 degrees of latitude from the northernmost point we reached in the Arctic Ocean - that’s over 1300 miles! We all still have a long journey ahead. The remaining seven science party members will be scattered in all directions. To the south go Jim Schmitt and Aaron Morello. To the east go Bob Pickart, Dan Torres, and Chris Linder. To the north goes Tom Weingartner. And to the very far north, back to the Arctic ice on the Polar Star, goes Sarah Zimmermann, who will be joining a new crew of scientists for Arctic West Summer 2002 - Leg 2!

Our intrepide dispatch writer, Chris Linder
Our intrepid dispatch writer puts the finishing touches on Dispatch 29.
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This website would not have been possible without the help of some very special people. Thanks to Dina Pandya, the talented WHOI web developer who worked every day, including weekends and on her birthday, to ensure that the site was updated! Thanks to Bob Pickart for inviting me to come along as a “field correspondent.” Thanks to WHOI Media Relations for the generous use of photo equipment and film. Thanks to my family and friends who sent me so many encouraging emails. Thanks to Gratia Montgomery for her love and support of oceanography. Thanks to Captain Mackenzie and the crew of the Polar Star for getting us there and back again. And, thanks to Dennis Conlon, program manager at the Office of Naval Research, who funded the moorings.

What’s next for Edge of the Arctic Shelf? Well, next year (2003) we will be pulling these moorings out of the icy depths. Hopefully, the data will give us the first ever high resolution view of the western Arctic shelfbreak!

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