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28 June, 2000

28 June 2000

Captain’s Closing Comments and a Fond Farewell

Tomorrow morning we arrive in Iceland. Today’s journal, the final one, will introduce you to the Captain of USCGC Healy, CAPT Jeffrey M. Garrett. He is a long time Coast Guard veteran with a history of service, steeped in icebreaker experience. A product of the Coast Guard Academy, CAPT Garrett has now served on five different icebreakers from the Great Lakes, to the Antarctic, to the Arctic. He went straight from the Academy to the precommissioning of USCGC Polar Star. Service on the USCGC Burton Island took him to Antarctica twice and the Arctic once. The Captain then served the Guard in Valdez, Alaska involved in vessel traffic service during the early days of operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. From Valdez, he went to Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, CA and then it was off to Headquarters where he served on the Ice Operations Staff. His first role as Captain came on the Great Lakes icebreaker USCGC Mobile Bay. Then it was back to HQ, on to Port Angeles aboard USCGC Active, then XO on USCGC Polar Star, back to school at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, then to Captain of the USCGC Polar Sea. His assignment to USCGC Healy completes the triumvirate of Coast Guard Polar Capable Icebreakers.

It has been a long haul, but a very successful one, since CAPT Garrett started working with the HEALY. Starting as a part-time project while serving on USCGC Polar Sea and then as a full time assignment beginning in July 1998, the Captain has had the full experience of “bringing a complex system of systems together” to become the ship the HEALY is today. In regards to the ice trials and science testing phases, he describes the results as “very, very successful”. He is very pleased with that fact that USCGC Healy exceeds icebreaking specifications and with how well the science testing went. After they reach Seattle in August, they will have until April to work out kinks, like the winch operation issues, that were identified during the testing phase. The Coast Guard will also use this time to do all the routine maintenance done on any breaker that has spent a season bashing its way through ice more than a meter thick.

As far as the Captain’s view about teachers being on board his vessel, he has nothing but positive things to say about the experience. Tim Buckley of Barrow sailed on USCGC Polar Sea in 1996 and again in 1998 while Captain Garrett was in charge. Sandra Kolb set the stage for teachers aboard USCGC Healy during the ice testing, and each of the teachers that followed found a crew used to having someone around asking lots of questions and doing lots of interviews. I know that I have been made to feel quite at home, and a part of the processes taking place on this ship. When asked about future teachers on the HEALY, Captain Garrett explained that he “would look to do it again”. Some teacher, or teachers, in the future will be very, very fortunate to share in the experiences to be found aboard this highly innovative vessel, the Coast Guard’s newest icebreaker, and most advanced scientific research platform, USCGC Healy.

In closing, I would like to thank the Captain and all his crew for a fantastic experience these past three weeks. I would also like to thank Dr. Lisa Clough who has been our guide and advocate during our time on board. Dr. Larry Lawver, our geologic mentor, provided me with a wealth of information and ideas to take back to my Geology and Oceanography classes. Several individuals have provided information that filled in many of the gaps I didn’t even know were there - Dr. Jim Swift, chief scientist, Jack Bash, former director of UNOLS, Captain Parsons, retired USCG captain, and our roommate, Bob Whritner, meteorologist extraordinaire. Jim Arias and Joe Farmer of NCSS provided many tales to make one seasick, but fortunately never succeeded. Thanks to Jerry Oldham for access to an enormous collection of photos. To all of you I have forgotten to name, thanks to you as well. Without all of these people, I would not have had the depth or breadth of experience I have enjoyed. Without the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs and Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Science Education, this whole trip would not have been possible. Thanks to Stephanie Shipp and Deb Meese of Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic for the opportunity to parcticipate in TEA. Finally, thanks to Dr. Kelly Falkner of OSU for getting TEA and USCGC Healy connected.

For those of you who have followed these journals, I hope that in your lifetimes you are treated to the same kind of thrills that seeing a narwhal, watching a polar bear with cubs, or sailing through Prins Christian Sund has provided me while having the opportunity to parcticipate in scientific research (even if it was just testing). If you have other questions or would like to get in touch with me after the cruise, contact me at the location below. Good Bye and have a Great Summer, Jay Schauer

Jay Schauer

Wilsonville High School

P.O. box 3770

Wilsonville, OR 97070

Ph: 503-673-7669

E-mail: schauerj@wlwv.k12.or.us <mailto:schauerj@wlwv.k12.or.us>

Present and Past: Captain Jeffrey Garrett and Captain Mike Healy, The Ship’ s Namesake

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