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August 24, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

The Canadian helicopter lands on HEALY’s flight deck during a recent flight operation.
The Canadian helicopter lands on HEALY’s flight deck during a recent flight operation.

We’re well into our second mission of the summer. We’ve been escorting the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St. Laurent for a few weeks, slowly working our way north, mapping the seafloor. The ice we’ve encountered has been pretty light so far, but it’s getting a little thicker as we head north. Right now, we’re only about 600 miles south of the North Pole.

As we escort the Louis, we’ve been conducting flight operations almost daily with the Louis’ helicopter. Most days, the helo will take off from the Louis, stop by our ship to pick up some ice observers, and fly off in front of the two ships to take a look at the ice conditions that we’ll be encountering as we head north. Other days, the helo just flies between the two ships, taking members of each crew to the other ship for an exchange day.

A CTD is recovered after being lowered nearly 4000 meters.  The bags attached to the bottom are filled with styrofoam cups.
A CTD is recovered after being lowered nearly 4000 meters. The bags attached to the bottom are filled with styrofoam cups.

The Junior Officers cooked and served our Saturday night morale dinner this weekend. They made pasta with several choices of sauce, garlic bread, and brownies. Next week, the science party will be cooking for us. BM2 McCann appeared as a guest caller at Bingo Night, calling numbers in his infamous banana costume.

This weekend, the MSTs conducted a deep-cast of a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) sensor. The cast was in nearly 4000m of water. At that depth, the pressure is so great that styrofoam will literally shrink. The MSTs made styrofoam cups available, and most of the crew and the science party decorated cups and sent them down with the CTD. When the CTD was retrieved, the cups had gone from coffee-cup size to smaller than shot glasses, and everyone had a souvenir that had been to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.

ENS McNair shows off her styrofoam cup.
ENS McNair shows off her styrofoam cup.

This mission will last about two more weeks as we continue to escort the Louis, and then we’ll head down to Barrow to transfer science parties for the final mission of the summer.

Until next time,

ENS Emily Kehrt
Public Affairs Officer

Last Modified 9/19/2013