29 March, 2001
Tidbit of History
Some of the Coast Guard's most remote duty stations are located in the Bering Sea.LorSta St. Paul is on the Pribilof Islands in the middle of the Bering. It is 250 nautical miles (nm) north or Dutch Harbor and 1894 nm NNW of Seattle. LorSta Port Clarence is about 60 miles NNW of Nome, on it's own little peninsula 80 nm south of the Arctic Circle. It is 655 nm north of Dutch, and 2300 nm from Seattle. LorSta Attu is 800 nm west of Dutch and 2504 nm from Seattle, past the 180th meridian at 173 East longitude. Attu is the furthest west Aleutian Island. It is only 100nm from Russian waters, and 400 nm from the Kamchatka Peninsula on Mainland Russia.
Today we witnessed what the Canadians term an "icebow". It involves refraction, or a combination of refraction and reflection of light by ice crystals in the atmosphere. A halo appears. The most common form is a ring of light of radius 22 or 46 degrees with the sun or moon at the center. This is called a Hevelian Halo. It's probably caused by refraction and internal reflection of the sun's light by bipyramidal ice. A halo formed by refraction is usually faintly colored like a rainbow with red being nearest the celestial body, and blue being the furthest away. This is the opposite of a rainbow.
A moon bow is formed from light from the moon. The colors are faint. A fogbow has controversial origins.
A rainbow appears in the sky opposite the sun. The pattern of it's arc is such that red shows on the outer side of the spectrum. Colors then range through orange, yellow, green, blue to violet on the inner rim.
Information provided by The American Practical Navigator by Nathaniel Bowditch.
The Marine Mammal flight schedule was different today. There were no morning flights but two afternoon flights went up. Very few mammals were spotted today but the weather was fantastic.
The temperature is 10 degrees with a 10-knot wind. It was sunny and beautiful out. There was a big glare off the snow. Sunglasses were helpful with the light.
Holly and I made our way to the top of the ship, up onto "crow's nest". There were 62 steep steps up to the top. We had an opportunity to fly the town of Farragut, Tennessee's flag. I teach at Farragut Primary School. The town is named after Admiral David Farragut, the first navy admiral. One of the helicopter's zoomed in for a photo of us. We had a chance to photograph them as well. It was very brisk and chilly out on the deck.
Dinner last night was wonderful spaghetti, salad, and bread with Captain Julich. The table was set with a linen tablecloth, silver and Coast Guard china. It was a relaxing time to visit with the Captain as well as with 6 others from the science party.
Packing for departure to St. Lawrence Island began yesterday. The helo allows 40 pounds of gear so I am trying to consolidate and only take with me the bare essentials. I will be traveling with Lee Cooper and Gay Sheffield. We will leave either tomorrow or Sunday. This will be decided based on weather conditions.
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