Hello friends and family!
I can’t speak for the whole crew, but among the stress and harried rush of getting prepared to get underway after a long inport, there is a small creeping sense of excitement for the trip to come. As everyone was working hard to get the usual preparations done, we held quarters to welcome new crew members, recognize others, and say goodbye to some who have sailed with HEALY for several years. FN Kelsey Stein joined us fresh out of boot camp. MST3 Marshal Chaidez received his first Sea Service ribbon for completing one year of time on Coast Guard cutters. MST1 Chuck Bartlett and MST1 Rich Layman both received Good Conduct Medals - they graduated from boot camp and MST “A” school together. MST1 Bartlett is leaving the Coast Guard, so we said “goodbye” to him as we left Seattle. Also leaving the ship was MKC John Brogan who is transferring to USCGC ELM. Before departing, MKC Brogan was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal. And EM3 James Olson was advanced to the rank of EM2. Following quarters, HEALY shook off the dust and got underway! Some footage was shot of the ship getting underway by District 13 Public Affairs.
At quarters on Friday, March 6 FS3 Robin Baldwin, MST2 Thomas Kruger, and ET2 Mark Harbinsky received Good Conduct Medals. It was FS3 Baldwin’s first Good Conduct Medal, MST2 Kruger’s second and ET2 Harbinsky’s fourth. Quarters was a good chance to bid farewell to SN Chelsey Fernandez as she prepared to depart for HS “A” School. We wish her good luck!
That night the weather turned bad as we nosed into the Gulf of Alaska. I happened to be on the midnight watch that night. What a watch it was! HEALY recorded rolling more than 25 degrees that night in 50 knot winds and heavy seas. For a 420 ft ship, that is pretty significant.
On Saturday, March 7 the crew was tired from a rough ride over night, and after working hard to clean up the ship, we were in need of some morale! That night at bingo on the messdeck CWO Lyons won an electronic 20 questions game, FS3 Baldwin won a DVD, and SK1 McNally won a camelback. Following bingo, the movie “The Dark Knight” was played on the messdeck.
After steaming along on three mains to help make up for lost time in the storm, we pulled into Kodiak, AK on time on March 9 for our first port call of the season. ENS Peter Dolton did a fine job conning HEALY to City Pier in Kodiak. After arriving, the Kodiak Spouse’s Association brought cookies -homemade and Girl Scout- to the crew. Nothing like cookies to start a patrol off right! Thank you!
After an evening in town and a morning to rest up, we were already waving goodbye. CWO John Rose conned HEALY away from the pier and into the Gulf of Alaska. We headed east toward Unimak Pass where we stood into the Bering Sea. Now it’s March 11 and a sunny day out here in the Shumagin Islands in Alaska. A great day to start the first science cruise of the year! Both the crew and the embarked scientists are getting ready to begin the Bering Ecosystem Study of ‘09. I will keep you posted on our progress.
Updating you as we continue our journey into the Arctic wilderness,
Your Public Affairs Officer,
LTJG Tasha Thomas