August 12, 2012 Land Ahoy! Fog, Sound the Horn!
For most of the cruise, we have had cloudy days with the sun breaking through each day. Although it has been hazy for viewing distant landforms, I have still managed to amass hundreds of photographs documenting the transit. This afternoon, we are surrounded by fog. The foghorn is blowing; the bird and mammal observers have left their posts; and the ship pilots are relying on maps and instruments to guide the ship.
The transit in review
On Saturday morning, we passed by St. Lawrence Island, a large island in the north Bering Sea. I am particularly found of this island as I had the opportunity to visit in 2009 when I was first on the Healy. For the next year, my school, J.C. Parks Elementary and the school in the village of Savoonga exchanged letters and artwork. To see the pictures of the village and school, click here.
After we passed St. Lawrence Island, we continued north until we reached the Bering Strait and stopped just south of two islands, Big Diomede and Little Diomede. At this station, we could see the continent of Asia, the Russia island, Ratmanova, which we call Big Diomede, the U.S. island, Little Diomede, and the continent of North America. The land at one time connected the two continents. Many adventurers have crossed the 53-mile stretch from Russia to the United States. In 1987, Lynne Cox swam from Little Diomede to Big Diomede, 2.4 miles, in 40 degree F water.
Watch this video to see the various landforms and hear the ship's foghorn.