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March 23, 2009

Hello friends and family!

HEALY scientists and crew from the first phase of 2009
HEALY scientists and crew from the first phase of 2009

Since I last wrote we have launched into doing science. We have done roughly 1-3 science stations a day. Each station usually consists of a CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth measuring piece of equipment used to take samples of the water at different depths), a couple of different types of optic packages (essentially measures light quality and quantity at different depths), Van Veen grabs, and multi haps cores (both take a sample of the ocean bottom to analyze the content and life in the sediment). On one science station we collected over 300 clams for research!

In addition to science stations, we have been conducting multiple flight operations each day. This is to support the walrus and spectacled eiders survey. The walrus survey involves tagging walruses and taking fecal samples for studying their movements and living habits. The spectacled eider survey is a study to understand more about the threatened bird and their habitat. The helicopter flights also assist in giving us a better understanding of the ice coverage. On top of both of these, we have been putting people on the ice for ice coring and sediment sampling. It has been a very busy trip already.

Quarters on Friday March 13 commended LT Appleberry, ENS Schendorf for qualifying Helicopter Control Officer, and ENS Dolton and CWO Rose for qualifying as Landing Signal Officers. We showed appreciation for and acknowledged temporary members of the crew, BM1 Segura and BM2 Skaife, for qualifying as Bridge Watchstanders.

The Chiefs Mess cooked a great morale dinner on Saturday night. After dinner, bingo and the movie “Wanted” was played on the messdeck.

On Tuesday March 17 at quarters BM1 Huneycutt was recognized for qualifying as deck supervisor, rescue/swimmer tender, crane operator and rigger. We also recognized SN Dowd for qualifying as Bridge Watchstander.

On Friday March 20, we held quarters once again and took a group photo of both the crew and scientists onboard for this cruise.

Following the picture, the film crew from ABC (Clayton Sandell and Bill Blakemore) filmed CAPT Sommer leading the crew in a resounding “Good Morning America!” which we hope will be aired on ABC. Other members of the media that joined us this past week include Erika Engelhaupt from Environmental Science and Technology Journal, Elizabeth Arnold from National Public Radio. When we hear of anything HEALY related getting published or airing on the radio or television, we will let you know.

Officers cooking for morale night! From left to right: ENS Schendorf, ENS Myatt, CWO Rose, LT Appleberry, LTJG Thomas, LTJG Bender, LTJG Jacobs.
Officers cooking for morale night! From left to right: ENS Schendorf, ENS Myatt, CWO Rose, LT Appleberry, LTJG Thomas, LTJG Bender, LTJG Jacobs
Saturday was our usual morale night with the Officers cooking this week for the morale dinner, followed by bingo and the movie “Tropic Thunder” on the messdeck. At bingo EMCM Curtis Podhorra won a t-shirt, IT1 Jeff Dabe won a 20 Questions game, and FSCS Anthony Williams won an iPod shuffle.

I was lucky enough to go out on the ice this past week with the media and help with getting ice core samples. This is a very cold process, but it was a lot of fun to do! It’s a beautiful place to be. I recommend everyone to take a look at the HEALY aloft conn camera. It has some amazing views, especially of our sunsets and sunrises. While admiring these pictures, keep in mind the temperatures out here has been ranging from 7 degrees to -27 degrees. It has been a cold and busy trip and this phase is almost over already! Next week we pull into Dutch Harbor, Alaska and make preparations for phase 2.

Updating you as we continue our journey into the Arctic wilderness,

Your Public Affairs Officer,
LTJG Tasha Thomas

Last Modified 9/19/2013