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> May 7, 2006 Ė Getting Settled, My first full day on the Healy
post May 9 2006, 06:01 PM
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Hi Everyone!

Today, we boarded the Healy! I am so happy to finally be on the ship. I met my roommate, Karen Frey, and she is really nice. I donít know too much about her yet, except that she is from UCLA and she is surveying the ice. Iím sure I will report more on Karen later.

The sea is very calm so far. I can feel a gentle rocking of the boat, but nothing is sliding around and it is not hard to keep your balance. I have been taking medication for seasickness although I donít feel sick. The people that have done this before said to take the medicine while you feel good, because you wonít be able to swallow much and it wonít work after you start feeling sick.

My first meal on the ship was lunch. There was quite a selection from hamburgers to waffles. I had a turkey burger and a small salad. We have to eat salad while we can because it wonít be here much longer. Most produce wonít last the duration of the cruise. My second meal on the ship was dinner. I had mashed potatoes, gravy, squash and carrots, and roast. It was pretty tasty. More about the mess deck later on.

I quickly settled in. There is a locker in our room for each of us and it is so big, that all of my clothes and gear fit inside. It only took about 20 minutes for me to completely unpack.

We had an in-briefing tonight. The Coasties introduced themselves and gave us an information packet about life on the Healy Ė the dos and doníts and the schedule. For example, when you are on the bridge, you should never sit in the captainís chair no matter how inviting and comfy that it looks. There are also rules about the directions you travel up and down the different stairwells.

This is so exciting! We had a marine mammal sighting. It was still daylight at 10 pm, so I went up to the bridge to observe for a few minutes before bed. The bridge is where they mostly steer the boat and you can see a lot from there. While I was up there, I saw Dallís porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli) riding the bow. They were so fast! I saw them blow spouts on one side and then they would be on the other side in just a few seconds.
Question: What is the difference between dolphins and porpoises? An A+ goes to the person that posts on the message boards the fastest!

Dall's Porpoise
IPB Image
This is a picture of a Dallís porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli). One of them briefly jumped out of the water so we could see its shape and coloring to make a positive identification. For the most part, we only saw their ďblowsĒ (water they blow out of their blowholes). Picture credit: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California - Santa Barbara

Today was an easy day. We took our time getting to know the ship and all the confusing passageways. We also began to get to know some of the Coasties that we will be working with, especially the MST guys. More about them later. Tomorrow is lab set-up day for the scientists. For me and Patty, it will be catch up on journals and pictures day. Itís around 11:30, so I am signing off and going to bed!

Goodnight Everyone
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