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> July 20, 2006
post Jul 21 2006, 10:59 PM
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TEA Teacher

Group: TEA Teacher
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Joined: 6-July 05
Member No.: 20

July 20, 2006

This will be my last journal entry since we are hopefully going to helicopter into Wainwright, Alaska to catch a quick flight to Barrow and then to catch our flights home. We were originally scheduled to be in Barrow tomorrow morning, but Barrow is completely iced in! The captain passed along a comment from someone on board the USCGC Healy which is off Barrow right now. The person said "The ice conditions are terrible. Worst anyone has ever seen." Interestingly, 2005 broke the record for least summer ice in this part of the Arctic and now, only a year later, we have some of the worst ice people have seen. Right now we're all just hoping for clear skies tomorrow so the helicopter can fly and we can make our other flights.

I never got a chance to talk with Koji or Hiro today because they were busy into the early afternoon with mooring retrieval and, by the time they were done; packing had kicked into high gear. Jackie, Rebecca, and Lee had all started packing earlier, and the task today was to label all the boxes that were going to different places or staying on the ship, and to figure out how the frozen samples would get to Barrow with us so they can make it back to the University of Tennessee. While we were in the van, someone spotted walrus right off the bow. We went outside and I saw my first walrus; one floe had three adults and a baby, and the second had an adult and a baby. We were lucky enough to get quite close before they got nervous and slid into the water.

IPB Image

IPB Image

This has been another amazing trip. I love being out here and having the opportunity to work with Jackie (and Lee and Rebecca) again. And, Captain Taylor and the crew of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier have been, as always, incredibly warm, welcoming, and helpful. Thank you all so much!
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