Last night Healy took some major waves over the fantail, such large waves that the Aft Staging area door was damaged.
The Aft Staging area is the location where much of the science equipment (VPR, multi-nets, ring net, Bongo nets) is stored. It is a compartment between the fantail and main science lab. There were reports of 5 feet of water in the room with “hot” electric lines and running heaters in the area. The DC's and EM's worked to repair the damaged door and manage any electrical issues.
Because of the weather and sea state, we have begun to head towards Dutch Harbor. Hopefully, we can conduct another net tow, but the weather is not looking promising. The Science party has begun packing and making preparations to ship equipment and samples home. I was assigned the task of washing all of the Mustang suits worn by the Science party. I washed them in the CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. hangar and hung them on the rosette to dry.
Yesterday, we also turned in our Arctic gear. It seems like just last week that we all stood in the Hangar to check out our gear...has it really been six weeks already? I have done my laundry on the ship for the final time and have started packing my personal items.
We also attended Quarters as a Science Party. Quarters is when the Captain of the Healy addresses everyone onboard and passes down important information. This was the last Quarters of our science mission, so we attended to give the Crew our gratitude for a successful and safe scientific mission. Dr. Ashjian personally thanked all of those who directly helped us, plus everyone who contributed to the success of the mission. The Science party was awarded the Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal. Phil accepted the award on behalf of the Science party. This medal is earned in support of Polar Research above 60 degree North Latitude aboard USCG Healy (WAGB) between November 12 and December 5, 2011.
Meet Liz Adams one of the Marine Science Technicians that has been working with us. She went to Boot Camp in November of 2008 and has been in the Coast Guard about 3 years. She's been an MST3 for just about 2 years. Her job on the Healy is to assist the science party by operating the winches to deploy equipment over the side, acting as Deck Supervisor for certain evolutions, and just generally helping out with whatever is needed. The majority of her work is doing operations out on deck. The MSTs also do synoptic weather observations that are sent to NOAA, and they are also in charge of Hazmat collection and disposal. Her normal job, on land, is very different. Marine Science Technicians handle pollution cases, conduct exams on lots of different types of commercial vessels, and inspect waterfront facilities and shipping terminals.
When MST Adams first joined the Coast Guard, she was a Seaman on a buoy tender in Florida. The majority of enlisted have to be a Seaman or a Fireman first, before you get rated. She was basically a deckhand. After just under a year of that, she went to 'A' School in Yorktown, VA, to learn how to be a Marine Science Technician. 'A' School is 10 weeks long. They learn about weather, different types of hazardous materials, what to do in the event of an oil or Hazmat spill, and how to navigate and enforce the Code of Federal Regulations. If you pass all your tests and don't get in trouble, you graduate as a Petty Officer Third Class. From 'A' School MST Adams got stationed on the CGC Polar Sea for about a year and a half, and then she came to the Healy.
When I asked MST Adams about her favorite Coast Guard moment or memory, she said, “I suppose finishing Boot Camp was a nice feeling. Seeing the ice and the Aurora for the first time was quite good, as well.” She thinks the Coast Guard is a wonderful organization, and feels that she has been awarded the opportunity to do lots of weird things and go to some weird places that I would not have otherwise been able to. Choose your rate carefully, and hopefully it turns out to be what you wanted it to be. MST Adams never imagined she would end up where she is now, doing what she does, but so far it's been pretty fun. And that's the ultimate goal, right? “If your job is fun and you don't mind waking up in the morning, then I say you're doing pretty well for yourself.” - MST Adams
Stay tuned as we continue our exciting voyage on the USCG Cutter Healy. Until then...
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mohandas Gandhi