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> 9-17-05: Transit to Gakkel Ridge, Sun Dogs & the Simple Life on the Healy
Ute_Kaden
post Sep 19 2005, 07:18 PM
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Transit to Gakkel Ridge, sun dogs and the simple life on USCGC Healy
TREC 9-17-05



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The Gakkel Ridge Transit through heavy ice with average speed of 2 knots.

We are in transit toward the Gakkel Ridge and our next science station. The Gakkel Ridge belongs to the mid-ocean ridge system. The seafloor spreading rate at the Gakkel Ridge is only 1.33cm/year to 0.63cm/year making it the slowest sea floor spreading rate on the planet. Icebreakers Healy and Oden working their way through the heavy ice in outstanding team work. The icebreaker Oden is very maneuverable and turns fast with a small radius. The Healy is the stronger ship for breaking heavy ice in a straight line path. Combining those traits of the ships with excellent seamanship of the two Captains Dan Oliver and Tomas Arnell, supported by satellite images and helicopter reconnaissance flights, we are pounding through the ice.

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Oden in front of Healy breaking ice by rocking from the left to the right.

The air temperature dropped to -16C. Ice ridges are common futures of the frozen landscape. New ice is forming in beautiful patterns.

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Pressure ridges form when ice floes are pushed against each other by wind or sea currents. We saw some thick ones up to 18 m.
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Temperatures dropped to the lower -15 C. Antennas and the loft conn are covered with ice.

Still fighting the time change, I woke up 2 am and could not go back to sleep. I climbed the 3 ladders to the bridge and was in for a special treat. An early morning show of sundogs and sun pillars. The sun and the ice crystals in the freezing, clear Arctic air are responsible for wonderful optical displays. Sundogs appeared in pairs left and right, equidistant, from the sun as splotches of colored light, like small, standing rainbows. Sunlight gets refracted and reflected by ice crystals and the colors are ROYGBIV. Violet gets refracted the most and red the least. Sun dogs are also known as mock suns or parhelia.
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The simple life on Healy


What do we do after work? Laundry is necessary from time to time. In the photo, Fredrik takes care of his laundry. We have a special laundry soap that is biodegradable, meaning it will not pollute the ocean water.
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Next to the laundry is the Gym. This is a very popular place open 24/7. Modern equipment and a stereo system make working out fun. Getting there is very convenient, just 3 ladders down, no driving, searching for parking space, no paying dues…. I started to go there after the 2nd week and I love it.
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Thore is showing off his strength.
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The work-out at Healy is serious business. People seem to give the best at all times.

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Erik on the treadmill is a Karate champion and has a hard training program
EMCM Curtis is working out on the bicycle.


Cleaning our lab spaces, floors and rooms is usually a Saturday job. The only problem – the vacuum cleaner sounds like a helicopter is landing and looks like from the last century. Vacuuming when people try to sleep is a dangerous job... unpredicted reactions can occur.
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Erik has floor cleaning duty. Great job- Thank you!


Coast Guard

Our coastguard crew is taking good care of the ship. Being at the bridge talking to the Coast Guard members is always interesting.
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Captain Dan Oliver on the Bridge.
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BMCS Sullivan (Navigator) and LT Eller (Helo pilot) discussing the Tromsø map


Today, special greetings to our students from SN Peter Boggeln.
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SN Peter Boggeln says "Hi" to my students

He is 20 years old and joined the coast guard after HS. He loves science and took physics AP ☺ as well. With 20 he has been to the North Pole and the South Pole on Coast Guard ships. He loves his job. His message to young people: “I enjoy to travel and to learn new things. I love my job in the Coast Guard, the opportunities and responsibility given to me here on the ship.”

Best regards,
Ute Kaden
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Steve_Marshall
post Sep 22 2005, 07:43 PM
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[quote=Ute_Kaden,Sep 19 2005, 07:18 PM]
Transit to Gakkel Ridge, sun dogs and the simple life on USCGC Healy
TREC 9-17-05



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Wow!! This and the others are awesome pictures!

Just checking in again to say I'm enjoying all your posts. It's obvious that one of the many advantages of a longer trip is to get to see and do all the things you've been experiencing. There's still one question I can't get away from though: I know the ice clears up farther north on the Atlantic side than anywhere else in the Arctic, so speed should increase quickly when out of the ice, but considering your progress and planned date of return, is there concern the ship might be arriving to Norway later than expected?

Steve
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Ute_Kaden
post Oct 10 2005, 03:53 PM
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Steve,
I am back in BRO reading the teacher log! Thanks for your comments and thinking of me. I am sure you could identify the places on the HEALY you had visited on leg one of HOTRAX. At the time of your post we encountered heavy ice. However, rule number one- a ship is never late in the port! Some of the research sites had to be cut short. Anyhow, we had successfully collected lots of data already and there was no question about the decision to go toward TROMSO. Like you know, Captain D. Oliver and his crew are excellent seamen and we made it on time and safely to TROMSO.
Ute
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