Hello friends and family!
The second phase of BEST has been full of CTD’s, on ice deployments, and nets galore. These science stations have been similar to the last phase, but with more nets. The nets are used to sample the smaller creatures in the water at varying depths. These small creatures are at the base of the food chain and can be used to determine much about the ecosystem.
The ice has been getting thinner, or at least sparser, as we travel further west along this line of science stations and we have had to get a little creative with these science stations. A few days ago we lowered Katrin Iken (the ice coring specialist currently on board) down to a small ice flow using a steal cage and the crane. Then yesterday we used the small boat to take Katrin and her gear to ice where she conducted her coring. It’s also the time of year for seal pups to be born, so we’ve seen several mothers with newborns.
At quarters on April 7 we recognized FS1 Arrene Zitting for receiving a Good Conduct Medal. FS3 Robin Baldwin received her first Sea Service ribbon having completed one year of sea time. IT1 Daniel Von Kauffmann received a Permanent Cutterman pin, finishing five years aboard cutters. We also recognized BM3 Evan Roy for qualifying as Crane Operator.
On April 10, ET3 Gregory Powell was named Sailor of the Quarter! The Sailor of the Quarter is the member of the crew who is selected by the Chief’s Mess for excellent seamanship and devotion to duty. Congratulations ET3 Powell! BM2 Andrew Yeckley was given a HEALY coin by CAPT Sommer in appreciation for all of his hard work fixing the barbecue grill in preparation for the Easter Pig Roast.
On Saturday, April 11 the 1st Class Petty Officers cooked the morale dinner for the crew. 1st Class burgers were the special for the night; it was an outstanding meal. That night at bingo SK1 Terrance McNally won a ducky sippy cup, FS2 Doug Dull won a DVD, OSC Sorjen Managen won a CD/DVD case, and IT1 Jeffrey Dabe won a hot/cold spa kit. We enjoyed the movie “Twilight” on the big screen in the hangar to round out our Saturday.
For Easter on Sunday, April 12, there was an ecumenical sunrise service held in the hangar. At the conclusion of the service, the hangar door was opened to a brilliant sunrise over the ice. Later that day, after 12 hours of roasting, we dined on scrumptious pork, potato salad, baked beans and hot dogs. Another great meal in two days!
At 0230 this morning HEALY crossed the International Dateline, and entered the realm of the Golden Dragon. As some of you may know, there is a ritual that goes along with these sacred crossings. However, as a Golden Dragon I am sworn to secrecy!
Updating you as we continue our journey into the icy Bering Sea wilderness,
Your Public Affairs Officer,
LTJG Tasha Thomas