Dear Friends and Family,
We are approaching the end of this mission and so far we have completed over 160 Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Sensory Casts to study the underwater current along the Beaufort Shelf all the way to the Amundsen Gulf, in the Canadian Exclusive Economic Zone. This number of casts exceeds the goal set for the mission!
Also on this mission, the crew and scientists have successfully recovered and deployed several types of sensitive and vital equipment such as, an ARGO float, ‘SVP’ Drift Buoy, an ‘AXIB’ Drift Buoy, HARP Acoustic Moorings, and Whale Monitoring Mooring. The ARGO floats at a fixed depth and once every 10 days rises to the surface to create a conductivity and temperature profile of the water column which is then transmitted to satellite and shore. The ‘SVP’ Drift Buoy measures barometric pressure and sea surface temperature and transmit its measurements to satellites as well. The ‘AXIB’ Drift Buoy is a stronger version of the ‘SVP’ designed to also measure barometric pressure and sea surface temperature with out being frozen or damaged while drifting with the ice. The ‘HARP’ Acoustic mooring sits at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean and collects data on the water column for a year. Once the mooring is retrieved, the scientists download all the data that the equipment has collected over that year and reset and recalibrate all the sensors for another year deployment at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Bravo Zulu to the crew and scientist’s, teamwork and collaboration made all of these deployments and recoveries very successful.
Last week, at Quarters, the Captain and crew congratulated ET1 Mark Climacosa on receiving his Fourth Good Conduct Award. Well Done ET1! For morale night, the DC shop prepared delicious Hamburgers and Bratwurst for the crew followed by the “Iron Man II” movie in the Hangar. This past Saturday the Spartans prepared dinner for morale night followed by the movie “A-Team” showing in the hangar. The Spartans consist of: ETCM Lippmann, ET1 Climacosa, ME2 Powell, ET3 Adams, IT1 Uribarri, and ME3 Roy. The Spartans are a group of crewmembers that encourage exercise by working out in a group and motivating each other to work harder toward individual health goal and enjoy their time in the gym.
This past weekend, we re-entered the ice. Once we found a strong and suitable ice floe, the ship hove to in the ice and the scientists set up a Temporary Automated Weather Station that is designed to, ‘go with the floe.’ While the Weather Station is attached to the ice floe, it will gather weather data, drift patterns and profiles of ice behavior. After the Weather Station was successfully set up, the Captain granted Ice liberty for the crew. Some took group photos, while others played a few games of football. All in all, it was fun for those returning to the ice and surreal for those scientist and new crewmembers that came to the Arctic for the first time. The next evening, MK2 Schumacher captured some remarkable photos of the Aurora Borealis. The sky was highlighted with bands of bright green light. It was a great way to end the weekend.
In the next few days we will conclude the mission with several more Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Sensory Casts, and one more mooring recovery. There is still a lot to look forward to, such as the Dependents Cruise, and our voyage back to Seattle.
Until Next Time,
ENS Holly McNair
Assistant Public Affairs Officer