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> May 10, 2006 Man Overboard!, Beth and Marge Go Overboard
Patricia_Janes
post May 12 2006, 12:09 AM
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May 10, 2006 – Aboard the Healy
Longitude: 175 11.898 W, Latitude: 62 3.559 N

My day began with the counting of brittle stars. Chris had pulled them up the trawl net during the morning shift and now we had to count them all. Being a little squeamish, I put on waterproof gloves first, and then I dove in. There were thousands of them! One gross thing about these little critters: If they lose a leg somehow, the leg continues to squirm around all on its own!

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One of the most common species of animal that seem to come up in the trawl nets is the brittle star.

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I counted brittle stars for Chris. The grand total for this particular trawl: 1,105!

Then the real action began. The ship’s captain gave the go-ahead for five members of the Coast Guard to take two scientists off the Healy and onto a small boat so they could get some ice samples. The lucky researchers: my roommate, Marj, and Beth, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

They climbed aboard the boat, and a crane slowly lowered them down to the water. Then the boat sped off to some distant ice. Marj and Beth filled two metal buckets with chunks of ice that they plan to melt and then bring back to their university labs. They want to study the algae that were clinging to the ice. Algae are plant-like organisms that transform carbon dioxide and the energy from sunlight to fuel itself.

Tomorrow I plan to interview both Beth and Marj to gather more information about what they hope to learn by studying the ice alga. I will be sure to report back on my findings!

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Standing high above the water on the ship’s 02 deck, I photograph Beth and Marj going overboard.

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Beth and Marj kneel in the boat, ready to collect some ice when they reach it.

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Far from the boat, Marj and Beth fill two metal buckets with ice containing algae.

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Marj examines her ice sample before bringing it back to the freezer in the lab downstairs.

Later in the day came another big moment (Keep in mind that while you are at sea for a month without TV or radio, it is very important to be able to create your own entertainment!): Tim Sullivan, a member of the Coast Guard, and Ruth Cooper, the 5th-grader onboard, held a competition to see who could soak their hands for three minutes in a bucket of freezing cold water from the Bering Sea and then pick up 10 pennies the fastest. Who was the winner? Ruth!

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Yikes! That water must have been frigid! Look at how red Ruth’s hand and lower arm is! Despite the cold, she beat out Tim Sullivan.
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Ute_Kaden
post May 12 2006, 08:44 PM
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Hello Patricia,
We hope you have fun on the HEALY. Greetings to Tim and Steve. I recognized them on the photo.
Great stories. Keep up the good work. We are following you here in Brownsville, TX.
Best wishes,
Ute
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