Posted by: usfarctic2011 | October 12, 2011

Chukchi Sea

Tuesday 10/11/2011

Today shipboard operations have largely involved retrieval and deployment of sensor packages that have been located on subsurface moorings for approximately one year. Nothing can be located on the sea surface here because it would be destroyed by winter ice. During the previous two days, the sea state was too high for mooring recovery operations. Such operations can be difficult because they involve small boat operations to attach retrieval lines to the array of floats, lines and instruments. When mooring operations are postponed, and the sea state is not too high, work on collection and analysis of water samples continues – sometimes at a rate, and for a duration of time, that creates substantial sleep deprivation. Such has been the case for the previous few days. The USF team has found itself working, on average, 15-hour work days with the greatest amount of sampling occurring throughout the night.

Snow has begun to accumulate on the decks of the Healy. This makes travel fore and aft on weather decks somewhat more hazardous. The scientists’ quarters are approximately sixty yards forward of, and two decks above, the science laboratory. Travel to and from the staterooms to the main lab involves a choice between the outdoor route, through wind and snow, and the inner route, which involves opening and closing five water tight hatches. The outer route is generally faster, and is the near equivalent of a cup of coffee.



  1. Thank you all so much for the wonderful blog and for taking on the many challenges of advancing Research in the frigid temps, on rough waters and what must be the longest work hours away from your family and freinds. You make us so proud!! Best wishes for a successful cruise and safe journey!

  2. Thank you for the blog. Not only is it interesting, but I find I worry a lot less about you all when I can “keep an eye on you.” Well, less the comment about the slippery walks on the decks anyway. All the wildlife photos are so very wonderful, but … oh my … the walrus! He is just amazing. What a handsome fellow. Keep up the great work. Try to get more rest. No slipping!

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