Dear Friends and Family,
Arctic West Summer 2008 Phase 5 has ended and Phase 6 is now underway. Currently we are heading towards our rendezvous point with the Canadian icebreaker, the Louis S. St. Laurent. Once we link up, we will commence our joint mapping.
On Wednesday night, the crew and scientists participated in an UNO Tournament. Fast paced and furious, there was never a dull moment. In the end, the coordinator of the event, MST1 Bartlett, managed to outlast the rest and win the tournament.
Thursday we redeployed the HARPS moorings that we retrieved at the beginning of the phase. Ethan Roth spent the trip collecting the data from the past year and performing some routine maintenance on the moorings so that when they were redeployed, they would collect new data. The moorings went back in exactly the same positions as last year.
Two days of flight ops commenced on Friday as we transferred the off-going and on-coming science party as well as food and supplies. Due to the ship’s efficiency and willingness to work throughout the day, we transferred significantly more people and supplies on Friday then we were planning, so much so that we only had to make one flight on Saturday. Thanks to a C-130 from Air Station Kodiak, we now have fresh fruits and vegetables—a nice treat after a month in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean. It was a great pleasure to see the C-130, with District 17 Commander Rear Admiral Gene Brooks aboard, fly close aboard before landing at Barrow.
Life returns to a normal pattern for the next three weeks as we work with the Canadians. The joint mission will have us continuing our mapping from last phase along with breaking the ice in front of the Louis. Although the Louis is a capable icebreaker in her own right, she will be towing a seismic array which will limit her ability to break her own path without damaging the sensitive gear. Additionally, we will conduct regular CTD casts throughout our transit.
This week we said goodbye to FS2 Sara Knighton and welcomed DC2 Roberto Paulino, TAD from NESU Seattle and SN Kaylen Frissel, TAD from POLAR SEA.
Until Next Week,
Public Affairs Officer