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August 4, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

ET2 Jeremy Gainey and ET1 Mark Climacosa help build a house for an elderly Native woman in Seward as part of a community service project.
ET2 Jeremy Gainey (L) and ET1 Mark Climacosa help build a house for an elderly Native woman in Seward as part of a community service project.

We just spent a week in Seward, AK for our midpatrol break, resting up from our last mission and preparing for the next one. Crewmembers went hiking and biking, ate out, took the train to Anchorage and back, and spent countless hours using the free wireless in one of Seward’s coffee shops. Many people also chose to participate in several community service events ENS Steckle organized. We left Seward for a two day transit to Dutch Harbor, where we met our science party for AWS-1002. Now we’re headed north again. We’ll cross the Arctic Circle tomorrow and put on our red hats again.

Over the last week, we’ve welcomed aboard and said goodbye to many shipmates. LT Appleberry, LT Galvez, FSCM Sandifer, IT1 Dabe, BM2 Merten, DC3 Collum, and SNBM McGuire all departed for new units, and we said hello to LT Criss, LT Drzewiecki, FSCS Gilbert, BM1 Caddell, BM2 Hirtzel, FS2 Bondurant, DC2 Mandrie, and MK3 Osburn.

We’re planning to meet up with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St. Laurent later this week for the third year of our collaborative Extended Continental Shelf mission. During this month-long mission, we’ll be mapping the Arctic seafloor, and breaking ice for the Louis, so they can create an even more accurate picture of the sediment layers of the seafloor with seismic gear they trail behind them, making it difficult for them to break their own ice.

IT1 Miguel Uribarri stands pig roast watch on Coast Guard Day.
IT1 Miguel Uribarri stands pig roast watch on Coast Guard Day.

Today, August 4th, is Coast Guard Day. This year is the 220th birthday of the Coast Guard. You can read President Obama’s message to the Coast Guard to commemorate this day here: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/index.php/2010/08/president-obama-wishes-coast-guard-happy-birthday/. Here, we’re celebrating with a Healy tradition- a pig roast on the flight deck. ENS Custer, ENS Weston, IT1 Uribarri and members of the morale committee woke up at 3 am this morning to stuff the pig and start cooking it, and volunteers have been taking shifts watching the rotisserie.

Afloat College has also started. We have a college professor onboard from Vincennes University, and about fifteen crewmembers are juggling classes with their other responsibilities onboard. The classes being offered during this phase are ENG 101: English Composition and LIT 250: Twentieth Century Mystery Novel.

It’s shaping up to be a busy mission. Stay tuned for more updates- I’ll be sending more from the icy Arctic.

Until next time,

ENS Emily Kehrt
Public Affairs Officer

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