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> So Long, Farewell, Saying Goodbye to the Healy
Patricia_Janes
post Jun 10 2006, 06:40 AM
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June 6, 2006
New York, New York

Yesterday morning at 07:00, the Healy sailed into port as the sun rose over the snowy peaks of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. I had set my alarm for 06:30 to make sure that I was awake for the docking. When I walked out onto the ship's deck and saw the familiar mountains, reality set in: My trip to the Bering Sea was almost over.

Once the crew had tied up the ship, I headed back to my stateroom to finish packing my belongings. We still had a big day ahead. That afternoon was the Change of Command Ceremony, at which Captain Dan Oliver was relieved of his duties as captain of the Healy and a new captain, Doug Russell, was named. It was an emotional event, and one that I feel very privileged to have been able to attend.

Afterward, Sam, Liz, and I made the most of our remaining time in Dutch Harbor and hiked to the top of one of the nearby mountains. At each hairpin turn, we got a glimpse of the Healy, and then another. I couldn't resist snapping a picture each time I had a new view of the ship. Soon, the ship that had been my home for a month would be just another memory.

But there is no pause button in life.

The hours passed and it was time to say my goodbyes to the Healy. I lugged my bags down those steep stairs, remembering the struggle that I'd had when I brought them up to my room just a month earlier. Then, it was down the brow and onto solid ground. I had one more night in Dutch Harbor, but this time I would be staying at a hotel.

As the van pulled away to drop me off at the Grand Aleutian Hotel, I looked back one final time at the ship. Its bright red hull will forever be etched into my memory, as will all of the events that took place over the last 30 days.

I will be forever grateful to the scientists who hosted me on the ship: Lee Cooper, Jackie Grebmeier, and Jim Lovvorn. And to the National Science Foundation and VECO for providing the funding and logistical support necessary to take me to such a remote region of the world. And lastly, I would like to thank ARCUS--Janet Warburton and Ben Wade specifically--for allowing me to share this entire adventure with readers like you through the TREC website.

I hope you all enjoyed the ride. I know I did.
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Tracy_Alley
post Jun 24 2006, 06:53 AM
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Great journal entries! I am sure it was a thrilling experience!
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