4 May, 2000

Dry Conditions


May 4, 2000

Daily Data (20:30):

Lat. 6854.132N

Long. 06322.580W

Heading 59.743

Air Temp. -10.71C 12.72 F

True Wind Dir. 23.1

True Wind Speed 7.2

USCGC Healy Facts

Icebreaking Capability:

4.5 ft. (1.37m.) @ 3 knots Continuous

8 ft. (2.44m.) Backing and Ramming

Dear Everyone,

Good news for you! Today I received the "go-ahead" for sending photos as needed for posting on my TEA web pages, but within a specified size. They are located at: ../tea_kolbfrontpage.html. I spent a good part of the day selecting, resizing and sending photos to my pages. Scroll back through my journals and have a look.

If I don't soon find my own close-up Polar Bear to photograph, I'll be borrowing a few photos from the ship's photo archives! There was a special sighting of bears on Easter Sunday. Two bears advanced directly to the parked Healy and remained long enough for an extraordinary photo session.

The helicopter reconnaissance flight yesterday evening located a level ice floe suitable for a test. The evening was occupied by intake of data as the Healy steamed at 4.66 knots through 138 centimeters thick ice at 28,700-shaft horsepower in a series of full power tests.

Today is another bright and sunny day. Our periods of darkness are becoming shorter, the air dryer. The ship's doctor, CDR Barbara Schoen, is increasingly dealing with complaints relating to the effects of low humidity on the body.

What is the relative humidity in your vicinity today? How does it compare to our relative humidity in the Arctic? Chief Henrickson kindly requested a humidity reading from Coast Guard meteorology for me today. At around 5:30 PM the relative humidity was 67%. When I discussed this information with the Chief and shared it with others, it was a bit surprising to us that our humidity is this high. In reality it feels much drier. Chief Henrickson believes this is simply a great contrast for us. We are accustomed to living under more humid conditions, especially those of us from the Seattle area, as compared to what we are now experiencing.

I shared with you earlier that Dr. Barbara Schoen and I are roommates. Yesterday morning as I was reaching for my lotion yet again, we commented to each other about how dry the air seems to be and that our nails were breaking, peeling, chipping. CDR Schoen and I seem to believe that this happened quite quickly. It feels like only a matter of days to us.

What are some of the effects of low humidity on the body? Many of the crew and travelers on board are experiencing some of these symptoms: sore throat, burning eyes, dry or bloody nose, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and dry mouth. Further symptoms of dehydration could be headache and dizziness. Due to the dry and cold environment, cuts and injuries don't heal as rapidly as in more humid climates.

What can we do about prevention and treating the symptoms? Water, water, water. I keep a water bottle on the narrow shelf at the head of my bunk. I frequently take sips of water when I awaken during the night from having a dry mouth.

We need to drink plenty of water, even when we are not thirsty. Because caffeine dehydrates, Dr. Schoen recommends limiting coffee consumption. And lotion. Tons of it.

Inuit language Lesson from Stevie Audlakiak:

Krunoejeet (say a guttural "kkrh" followed by "new een' jeet"): I'm fine.

This is said in response to "Krunoupet" (How are You?) in my journal to you of April 30, 2000.

Best regards,

Sandra Kolb

Chief Henrichson going up the Healy 03 deck ladder. photo by Sandra

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