Hello friends and family!
This week has been a busy week for the scientists and the crew. Depending on the ice coverage, we have been conducting 3 to 5 stations a day and we have had a long on ice station every other day. For more pictures and more specific information about the science activities please check out the Polar Discovery website. It is a daily journal that has great photos and information about the activities on board HEALY.
On April 14 at quarters we recognized FN Brandon Beebe for qualifying as Technician of the Watch and BM1 Raymond Mendoza for qualifying as Winch and A-frame Operator. SK1 Terrance McNally, MK2 Wendy Starling, and MK2 Corey Smith received Permanent Cutterman’s Pins for spending over five years at sea on cutters. ET1 Brian Liebrecht was awarded the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for his hard work and accomplishments on board HEALY. CAPT Sommer recognized MST1 Richard Layman with a HEALY coin for his successful efforts in organizing the Hazardous Materials program on board.
We had a long on ice station on April 14. Due to the nice weather and sunshine, crew members were permitted out on the ice with the scientists to enjoy a little bit of ice liberty. This time the crew was prepared with frisbees and balls. Kickball has become the group sport of choice during ice liberty. We welcome any challenges in the Ice Kickball League.
At quarters on April 17 we recognized BM3 Patrick Kimmel for qualifying as a boat crew member and ENS Peter Dolton and ENS Tara Schendorf for qualifying as Officers of the Deck. The qualification of Officer of the Deck (or OOD) is a long training process that can take up to a year concluding with an oral board. The OOD drives the ship, oversees all ship operations, and acts as a direct representative of the Commanding Officer. Also at quarters, DCC George Marsden received his third sea service ribbon for serving seven years at sea, SK1 Terrance McNally was awarded his third Good Conduct Medal, and FS2 Doug Dull was given a HEALY coin by CAPT Sommer as a token of appreciation for his diligent work in providing the crew with a wide range of desserts upon request.
After quarters on April 17 we held a Damage Control drill to practice our response to an emergency onboard HEALY. We conduct these drills every Friday. This Friday the drill tested our response to a steering casualty that resulted in flooding in multiple spaces on the ship. All hands did very well and we received a passing score on the graded drill.
That night the general emergency alarm went off again at 0330 for an actual emergency. There was a major fuel oil leak in one of the engine rooms. Everyone manned their emergency stations in case things made a turn for the worse. Fortunately, the watch standers responded quickly and effectively. Repairs are still being made on the source of the leak but, aside from that, things are back to normal. It’s good to know that the crew can handle themselves in emergencies.
On Saturday April 18, members of the Main Propulsion and Auxiliary Division cooked the morale dinner. The meal and the desserts were delicious! Thank you MKs! At Bingo that night FS3 Mark Hamilton won a handheld fan, FSCS Anthony Williams won a 3” digital picture frame, MK1 Nicholas Murphy won a DVD, and MK2 Wendy Starling won a plush blanket. The movie “Bride Wars” was played in the Hangar following Bingo.
We still have a couple weeks on this science mission, and plenty more to do!
Updating you as we continue our journey into the icy Bering Sea wilderness,
Your Public Affairs Officer,
LTJG Tasha Thomas