Earlier this week a helicopter landed on the ship bringing two Coast Guard members aboard to check out sea-going operations aboard the Healy. Due to safety reasons, we had to watch the helicopter land via closed circuit television. It was still very exciting to observe, and it might be the closest I’ve been to a helicopter. The helicopter brought a limited amount of fruit, so the ship had a fruit raffle. One of my friends won and was kind enough to share an apple slice with me. It was very delicious, and a teaser of the fresh produce we’ll soon enjoy on land.
The following morning the ship took a detour towards Barrow, Alaska. Another helicopter landed to remove a crew member who had kidney failure. Although it was unfortunate, it’s a good thing that he’ll get the medical attention he needs.
Due to high winds (about 45 knots), we have concluded science operations. Although many of us were bummed to skip the last two continental shelf stations to study sediment-water interactions, we were all glad we could begin packing. Tearing down the lab spaces happened at a quick speed, considering the amount of time and care that went into building them. It’s weird to see things packed and countertops cleared off. Although we have more packing and cleaning ahead of us, it’s nice to get a bit of a break for the last few days at sea.
Yesterday was a big day for two reasons. First, we saw some islands off in the distance. This was a relief to those who are itching to get off the ship. Second, we saw some killer whales swimming by the ship. Unfortunately I saw them, and when I returned with my camera, they were gone. I’m hoping to see a few more in the next two days. In other news, tonight is a big night because the science party is in charge of cooking the morale meal. More on that soon!