16 July, 2002
Because the ship does not leave until tomorrow, everyone had the luxury of one more day to set up their equipment and lab stations. I canít imagine what it must be like when the ship sails any sooner! From a large zooplankton sampling device (zooplankton are tiny, animal-like, drifting organisms) to a sensitive instrument used to analyze chlorophyll, all must be ready to go by the time we reach our first station tomorrow. Some of the scientists are done with set up, others are testing their instruments, and a few are waiting for one last shipment of chemicals which have been delayed.
In the afternoon, students from the Anvil City Science Academy arrived with parents, teachers and the superintendent of schools for a tour of the Healy. The Science Academy is where Todd Hindman (TEA 2000) teaches. USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) Healy was launched on November 10, 1999 and, at 420 feet, is the largest ship in the Coast Guard fleet. The Healy was specifically designed as a science research ship. It contains more than 4,200 square feet of lab space, several oceanographic winches (used to lower instruments into the water), and numerous electronic sensor systems. Since the Healy is designed to work in the Arctic, it can break 4 Ĺ feet of ice continuously at three knots (a knot is equal to 1.12 miles/hour) and can operate safely in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F. The tour included everything from the engine room and bridge to the science lab, the gym and the mess (dining area). I enjoyed the tour as much as the students. Iíve only been on board for a day and a half, and this ship is huge! I certainly saw areas I had not been in before.
I canít wait until we are underway tomorrow. Iíll have lots more to tell you about after our first sampling station.
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