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Resting Easier

By Diana Udel

Resting Easier

By Diana Udel
Provided by Andrew Margolin, Ph.D. student in the Department of Ocean Sciences

After packing all of our science equipment and personal gear to be shipped from Miami to Seattle, I knew that I wouldn’t be resting easy until after arriving in Seattle and loading our stuff onto the ship. But oddly, after spending the week of June 15-19 in Seattle moving everything on board and stocking up on ground coffee, chocolate, cashews and candied ginger for the long cruise, I didn’t feel any different. Over the past week my feelings changed, and now I realize why they hadn’t changed until writing this. But before I get to that, I want to share what our work in Seattle loading the USCGC Healy was like!

We had five black boxes containing instruments for analyzing the pH, total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) of seawater (a.k.a., the CO2 system in seawater). We also had coolers containing sample bottles and supplies for the analysis of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which will be analyzed at RSMAS after they return to Miami in November.

On the afternoon of the 15th, Ryan picked me up from the bus station in Seattle’s International District (I spent the weekend in Portland visiting a friend), and then we grabbed some dinner and talked about our plans for the next few days before heading to the hotel and crashing after our long days/weekends of travel.

The next morning, we got to the Coast Guard base before 9 am. We assumed we wouldn’t be able to accomplish much since equipment was still being craned onto the ship, but we were happy to at least get a nice view of the city from the Healy (Figure 2). We were both thrilled to see how big the Healy is, since neither of us have sailed on it before, and we were both impressed. The Healy is a 420-foot-long icebreaker (or cutter), which is one the biggest non-nuclear polar icebreakers in the world. The Healy will be home to over 100 people (about 50 are scientists) during our upcoming 65-day cruise, and Ryan and I were happy with the layout of the ship, the location of our lab van, and most of all, we were excited to see new and familiar faces that we’ll get to know even better during the cruise.

During the following two days, all of our equipment was craned next to our lab van (known as “the carbon van”) on the 02 deck, and Ryan and I began unpacking, arranging and securing the lab (tying everything down with rope, string or bungees). While we were in the carbon van those two days, I set up a camera and made a time-lapse video of the process (link below), which I hope you enjoy.

Anyway, I am fortunate to participate in the cruise and contribute to the groundbreaking science that will result from it, and this blog is my way of sharing some of that with you. I am excited about the cruise, but most of all, I am excited about sharing the experience with you. Finally, after months of putting this blog website together and not sharing it with anyone, I am so excited to share it with you. I am excited that I can finally rest easy knowing that this platform for learning about the Arctic, Earth science and life at sea is available to you.

—Andrew Margolin

Andrew Margolin is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Miami‘s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry in the Department of Ocean Sciences (OCE) as a National Science Foundation (NSFGraduate Research Fellow.