Hard to believe, but it's already been two weeks since I dropped my husband off at his ship and said farewell to him for the summer and beyond. He's off again aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter HEALY—north into the seas and oceans around Alaska. This is the last picture I took of the cutter, as I stood on a beach in Washington in the pouring rain. She was sailing north and out of Puget Sound ...
I've been tracking the ship since, which is one of the very cool things you can do with this particular Coast Guard cutter (a truly appreciated rarity). She left Dutch Harbor, Alaska just a few days ago on her first mission, and it looks like she is now entering the Chukchi Sea. You can track their progress from this link:
This first research mission—which runs through late June—is to study the under-ice bloom. It's fascinating stuff if you're interested in plants or ice or biology:
The two other missions this year will study "Moorings" and "Oil Spill Technologies." Those are the main topics, but many other scientists are aboard as well, doing other very interesting research.
They are already in the ice as one of the recent images from the hourly camera feed from the top of the HEALY shows us. You can track the photos here:
This blog post is really just an update for those of you who want to track the HEALY and her progress in 2014. We have a whole list of other posts we are supposed to have done already (some of which we will yet do, we promise), but the past few months have been especially busy with work and also filled with trying to pack in as many adventures as we could together before he sailed away again ...
As a teaser, here's one of the images that Badger took of himself with the HEALY last year during Ice Liberty somewhere in the Arctic Ocean:
Here's the post on (roughly) the same topic that I wrote about a year ago when they deployed. It includes some additional details about the ship and about my sweet husband: