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> August 6, 2006
Steve_Stevenoski
post Aug 13 2006, 01:55 AM
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August 6, 2006

For the first time this cruise we were able to see another ship. Unfortunately this happened while was asleep and can only convey the details second hand. The ship is the Polar Star, a smaller Coast Guard Icebreaker that was on sea trials in the area. Kevin caught a ride on the helicopter when the Coast Guard media person aboard the Healy went up on a photo flight to take pictures of both ships. Kevin said that it was an amazing flight. They made a complete circle around the two ships looking at them from every angle in the early morning Arctic summer light. Flying between the two ships he was able to see everything about the two ships. I chastised him a bit for not waking me. I told him, "next time something cool happens during the middle of the night make sure I get to enjoy it too,"

Main Lab
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The highlight of the morning was a tour of the entire ship with one of the ship's engineers. There are about forty crew people whose jobs are to maintain all the mechanical systems on the ship. There are four diesel engines that are used to generate electricity that powers the motors that drive the props on the ship. The generators produce 6600 volts of electricity that is converted in a room-sized device called a cyloconverter to 4400 volts. This voltage is used to power the electric motors.

All systems on the ship are monitored through a central control panel in the main engineering room. Motors, pumps, compressors, heaters, and machines of all shapes and function span three levels on the ship. In certain areas of the ships you can see the large steel beams that are staggered about a foot apart that build the incredibly strong skeleton of the ship.

Fresh water is produced using two evaporators that each produces 250 gallons of fresh water per hour. The ship has tanks that hold about 14000 gallons of water, and each day the people on the ship use about 6500 gallons of fresh water. 13000 to 17000 gallons of diesel fuel are burned bay the motors each day. Typically there are two engines running at all times to produce the electricity that the ship needs.

The engineers also take care of heating, cooling, refrigeration, and plumbing on the ship. They are also the ones who repair leaks and structural problems that occur on the ship. It was an amazing tour. We even got to see the ship's stores of food, parts and other things that are needed by the crew on a daily basis. Everything is inventoried and labeled behind locked fenced walls just incase someone got hungry and decided they needed a case of crackers or a gross of eggs.

Attaching Cable
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Just after lunch a call came down from the bridge that the Marine Mammal Observers had spotted three polar bears about a mile away on the ice. It was a convergence of people, cameras and binoculars on the port side of the bridge. Half of us saw them the other half said that they did. Three bears were seen by those that were able to locate them behind and among the odd shaped chunks of show on the white ice.

At 2:00 I attended my first flight briefing of the cruise to take out the seismic instruments. Anatoly and Peggy flew most of the day with Bill and Joseph to deploy twelve instruments. Just like in the safety briefings before the cage is deployed all the concerns about safety and procedures are covered before the helicopter's engine even starts. By 8:30, 12 instruments had been deployed on the ice.

We have worked most of the day to get the cage back together and ready to deploy. We have added extra lengths of hose to fix the damaged ends. Dale has sliced two new connectors for the Bolt guns onto the old cables. By 9:30 the cage is ready to go. 9:35 Steffen starts warming up the compressors. We just need to wait to arrive at the start of seismic line number 2. Then we will deploy the cage and start collecting a new set of data.
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