3 August, 2001
A Beautiful Day
This morning my day started with an announcement that an iceberg had been spotted. I looked out through the porthole in my room and saw a small but beautiful chunk of floating ice. I went up to the bridge and looked through the binoculars. There were several small icebergs, each one white and a surprising turquoise color, covered with birds. These first few were the beginning of many.
I volunteered to spend four hours each afternoon monitoring a system called Seabeam. The Seabeam system uses sonar (sound) waves. It shoots a "pinging" noise out and receives it back. The data collected is then used to determine to depth of the ocean under and around the ship and can be used to make a map of the ocean floor. It can show structures such as the ridges and valleys on the ocean floor.
The weather today was brilliant! The air was quite warm for the Arctic region that we are in and the sky was a beautiful blue. I was able to stand outside without a heavy coat to watch a helicopter from the Polarstern bring the leading German scientists to the Healy for a meeting. The scientists stayed for several hours to discuss the science that will be going on when we hit the ice edge. That time, hitting the ice edge, should arrive soon-- sometime in the middle of the night tonight.
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