12 May, 2000
Rites of the Blue Nose
May 12, 2000
Daily Data (20:30):
Air Temp. -6.35C 20.57F
True Wind Dir. 147
True Wind Speed 5 knots
USCGC Healy Facts:
Quiet Ship operations
Dive Locker and Portable Recompression Chamber
Open Working Decks:
forward 500 sq. ft., aft 3,000 sq. ft., starboard aft, 600 sq. ft.
The ship is a buzz with the rumors and secrecy of the arduous Blue Nose Initiation Rites. I began hearing bits and pieces of this initiation a few days ago. The official beginning is today at the daily crew 12:25 PM Quarters briefing. Everyone is invited. The slave auction for all Wog parcticipants follows this meeting. A non-talent show is planned for this evening. Each group of auctioned Wogs is to plan entertainment for the Polar Bears. Wogs will have their noses painted blue on the auction block. After this, only time will tell.
We are assured that this activity that spans through tomorrow morning will be unpleasantly messy and very, very cold. The Polar Bears who are conducting the events, assure us that we will want to throw away the clothes we wear during the Saturday morning activities. I have scrounged donations of old clothing from the men. Because my checked bags didn't arrive with me on the airlines, I barely have enough clothes let alone any to throw away.
The fine print on the Hair Cut Insurance I purchased gives me considerable pause for its validity. Even obtaining this Polar Bear issued insurance was a challenge! Rumors seem to include overt hints of Arctic seawater. No wonder it is called the Blue Nose Initiation. I can only guess.
Although the Blue Nose Initiation is voluntary, I was signed up in a bantering and affable sort of way. The Polar Bears insist that the official certificate is well worth the grueling parcticipation. "You won't regret it, Sandi," Terry Tucker (Co-Chief Scientist on the Healy) tells me, "You'll have fun." Since I parcticipated in a very cold Antarctic tradition in 1996 and survived, I decided to go for it.
Vocabulary of the day (from various people on the Healy of prior ship experience):
Wog: Short for pollywog. Someone who has not yet crossed The Line’ on a ship and has not been initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep by King Neptune and his royal scribe, Davey Jones.
Blue Nose: Someone who has not crossed the Arctic Circle on a ship and has not been initiated.
Polar Bear: Someone who has crossed the Arctic Circle on a ship and has been initiated.
Penguin: Someone who has crossed the Antarctic Circle on a ship and has been initiated.
Shellback: Someone who has crossed the line of the Equator on a ship and has been initiated.
Golden Dragon: Someone who has crossed the International Date Line on a ship and has been initiated.
Golden Shellback: Someone who has crossed simultaneously the International Date Line and the Equator on a ship and has been initiated.
What are the rewards for parcticipating in these voluntary initiations? A large and ornate certificate that is impressive for framing, I'm told, will be mailed to the home of all parcticipants along with wallet sized cards with the official data. Other rewards? Well, for me, being able to say I've done it. The next time I cross the Arctic Circle on a ship, I will be a Polar Bear and initiate the Wogs. Look out, Wogs!
Following is data on ice core 38 taken on May 10, 2000.
Core 38 5/10/00 Time 1532 UTC
Total length 63 cm.
Latitude 68 degrees 30 minutes
Longitude 61 degrees 05 minutes
Comments: Air Temp. -8.6 C
2 breaks in the core
no wind speed or direction
Brine volume for -2>T>-22.9
Brine volume coefficients
F1(T) COEF. -4.732 -22.450 -0.640 -0.011
F2(T) COEF. 8.90E-02 -0.018
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