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> Ice Liberty - A Day At (On) the Ocean, A Chance for Everyone to Relax
post Jun 25 2005, 05:09 AM
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Thursday 6/23/05

Today was a continuation of the same objectives, but at different locations. We took another piston core (our 6th) and our 5th Multi-core. Both were very successful, so we’re really getting this down to a science smile.gif

Since we are collecting so many cores, the refrigerator where we store them has really been stacking up. As a result, we decided they needed to be a little more secure and a little more organized. To accomplish that, two of the MSTs (marine science technicians) set up some wire cages, and then one of them and myself worked on transferring the core sections to them. We had perfect timing with this, because right when we were about finished, the announcement came over the ship’s PA system that the long-awaited “ice liberty” was ready to start.

I quickly got on some warmer clothing (it was actually kind of warm to be working in the refrigerator!) and boots to join the rest of the ship’s crew and science party out on the ice. The “brow” (the term for the walkway from the ship to the ice) was at about a 45 degree angle, so it made for interesting walks up and down it. For safety, we could only have two on it at a time. Once on the ice it was like a day at the beach. If you ignore the fact the temperature was in the 30s, and the fact we were ON the ocean instead of at the edge of it, everything was exactly the same: Bright sunshine, people throwing Frisbees, footballs, and horseshoes, and other beach-like activities. I didn’t see anyone go swimming though…despite the fact the water had that very inviting tropical blue look to it!:) The other thing you probably won’t see on any other beach was the polar bear patrols who were equipped with rifles to protect us all from any polar bears trying to crash the party. Before going out, we were specifically told to stay within the boundaries of the orange cones that were set up for us. It wasn’t long, however, before a few “cone rebels” decided to explore a very high pressure ridge in the distance. It was okay to do though, because the Captain Oliver had given the green light to do that. Once it was determined the cone rebels weren’t going to be shot by the polar bear patrol smile.gif , many other people joined the expedition too.

Everyone definitely had a good time, and cameras were everywhere. The realization that we were doing something very few other people would ever do, spending a “day at the beach” standing on a large ice flow about a 100 miles out in the Arctic Ocean, was probably something that wasn’t lost on any of us.

After about one to two hours of “ice liberty,” it was back to work. The work went a little easier, though, with memories of a very unique experience to keep us company.

That experience, told in pictures, is what follows:

A View From the Ship
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Surveying the scene as crew members make it out on the ice for their “ice liberty”

Watch Your Step
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The walkway to the ice was at about a 45 degree angle which made for slow going

Flying Saucer
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The red spot in the upper right of the picture is actually a Frisbee flying through the air

Heads Up!
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The person in the approximate center of the picture with his right foot off the ground has just released a football that can be seen in the air at the right edge of the closest melt pond in the background

Great Form
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A crew member shown just after release of a horseshoe that was caught by this picture about midway to the other stake.

Horseshoes on Ice
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“Close” only counts in…..

Having Fun
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Some of the Healy crew enjoying the time on the ice

Postcards from the Arctic
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More of the ship’s crew getting their picture taken with a Healy life preserver

Unique Viewpoint
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Strange to think this picture of the ship can be taken without getting wet!

Polar Bear Patrol
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We know they’re out there, so to be on the safe side, a few crew members were positioned with rifles as lookouts for polar bears.

Large Pressure Ridge
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I thought this pressure ridge looked interesting. Little did I know when I took this picture that I would soon be closer to it thanks to the “cone rebels” who blazed the trail.

Cone Rebels
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We weren’t supposed to go beyond the orange cones set out on the ice as a perimeter, but with the captain’s permission, we were allowed to go to the ridge for exploration.

Blue Lagoon—Arctic Style
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If you ignore the ice, this water almost looks tropical!

Conquering the Hill
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I’m not sure our permission included climbing ON the ridge, but that seemed to be a moot point nowsmile.gif

If You Climb It, They Will Follow
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Once the trend was started, several more joined the party on the ridge

The Benefit of Trail-blazing
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If we had stayed within the cones, this picture of the Healy wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks, Captain!

Going for a Swim?
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Greg Cutter slides down the ridge. If you noticed in earlier pictures, there’s a pond of water in front of this ridge. Maybe Greg wanted to test the waters?

Ready to Challenge?
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With two at the top of the ridge (left of me in the picture), as I worked my way up the ridge, I contemplated turning this into a game of “King of the Mountain.” smile.gif (Photo by Stefanie Brachfeld)

Kodak Moment
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I thought this photograph of some of the science party was more “true to life” than the posed ones I took of them after they got settled. Left to right: Christine Theriault, Lyanne Yurco, Joseph Ortiz (back), Brian Meeks (front), and Ray Savicke. (Person to far right is unidentified)

The Science Gang Enjoying Ice Liberty
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Pictured here (from left) are Guillaume St-Onge, Ray Savicke, Glenn Berger, Christine Theriault, and Lyanne Yurco
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