19 May, 2000
Port of Call
May 19, 2000
Daily Data (20:30):
Heading 109.571 deg
Air Temp. 11.6C 53.0F
True Wind Dir. 175 deg
True Wind Speed 18 knots
(Note: Douglas Griggs, Naval Service Warfare Center, West Bethesda, MD, defined “True” for me in terms of the Healy’s “True Wind Direction” as the direction of the North Pole, the geographical direction.)
USCGC Healy Facts
From the USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) brochure:
"USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) was constructed by Avondale Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her keel was laid on September 16, 1996. A spectacular launch followed on November 15, 1997. Delivered to the Coast Guard and placed ‘In Commission, Special’ on November 10, 1999, HEALY joins the icebreakers POLAR STAR (WAGB 10) and POLAR SEA (WAGB 11) in their homeport of Seattle, Washington."
It's a gray and rainy morning. The seas are choppy and were all night. Except for the sounds of periodic crashing and booming of the waves colliding with the ship, it's like living in a giant rocking chair. Cozy in my upper rack (top bunk) with surrounding curtains pulled, I snuggled into my feather pillow and four layers of new cream-colored light-weight vellux blankets and slept to this lullaby until the 6:45 AM reveille.
Some scientists are putting the final touches on their personal packing having been packing their gear and equipment as projects wound down during the past couple days. Others are still collating data collected yesterday and putting the final touches on their reports.
Anticipation and exhilaration abounds this morning as plans are being made to test our legs on land and take in the sights and sounds of the Canadian city of St. John's, Newfoundland. Last-minute photos taken, business cards exchanged, final reports swapped and discussions of future connections are the topics of conversations. At the daily 12:25 PM Officers’ Quarters briefing, presentations and thank-yous from the science-testing sector were extended to Captain Garrett and the USCGC Healy's crew. The Healy is due to arrive in port late this afternoon.
Once land is glimpsed, I find myself taking periodic breaks to scamper up the 3 ladders from my stateroom on the 02 deck to the bridge. The bridge is crowded with working crew. Passengers are grouped to one side in deference to the work at hand, but are jovial in their excitement of approaching terra firma. I take a few photos, chat a bit and return to my stateroom to work some more. Finally, I spend the last hour and a half on the bridge observing the technicalities of bringing the Healy to dock.
I observe something I have never previously witnessed. A pilot boat for the port of St. John's comes to meet the Healy to guide us into the channel and to our pier. A local pilot was to board the Healy. Looking over the Healy's side and down to the seemingly miniature craft by comparison, I ask,
"How?" "Go out to the deck and see," John Gagnon’s authoritative voice commands and without a word, I obey. I find myself peering over the Healy's side.
A rope ladder is flung down. The pilot boat with its bumper-car style bumpers bounces against the Healy's side and I see the pilot, a large and heavy man, reach for the flapping ladder and then hesitate. Both the pilot boat and Healy are cruising. "Is the pilot really going to jump for this ladder," I'm asking myself. As if reading my mind, Martin Hecker tells me he is and adds, "That's why the pilots get paid big bucks." My camera is ready.
The pilot boat attempts again and the pilot scrambles onto the swinging rope ladder and hoists himself up. A few minutes later I see him in the Healy's bridge in conversation with Captain Garrett. The pilot knows his channel; the St. John's waters, and guides our ocean-going vessel through a historic and scenic course. The fortress on our starboard side and the lighthouse on our port side great us as the city gradually unfolds in the sunshine beyond. St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada awaits us.
Docking time was approximately 4:30 PM and was following by a briefing on the mess deck by Executive Officer (XO) Oliver at 5:00 PM.
Data on ice core 9 of April 14, 2000 follows.
For photos and more: ../tea_kolbfrontpage.html For further information:
Core 9 level ice 0414, Start up test midway.
14-April-00 Total length 77 cm
average brine vol 0.0855
average strength mpa 0.315
average strength psi 45.7
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