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Journals 2008/2009

John Karavias
Walt Whitman H.S. Huntington Station, NY

"Estimation of Primary Productivity and Particle Export Rates as a Function of Phytoplankton Community Structure in the Bering Sea"
United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy, Icebreaker
July 3 - July 28, 2008
Journal Index:
July 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11
       12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19
       20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27
       28 - 29 - 30 - 31

July 8, 2008
An up and down day

This was the up -
It is obvious from the seas of the Bering that the Healy will be going up and down but that is not what I am referring to. Today was an emotional day for me and the scientists of the Healy. I kept my word and returned the favor to the mooring team. We successfully deployed the first mooring in the 41.5 meters of water. Our target depth was 40 meters but Tom Weingarten, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, made the call from the bridge to deploy.

My menial job, for now until I learn what I am doing, is to make sure nobody falls overboard. When members of the team get close to the edge, I shadow them and when they lean over, I grab their belts and hold them on the boat. I am the best man on the boat for that job because I am gaining weight almost daily. I need to lay off those midrat meals.

My job as part of the mooring team is to make sure they do not fall overboard!

Here comes the down -
Right after we were discussing how well our deployment went, the Optics Team of scientists lost their equipment overboard. It is unclear exactly how it happened but the 3/8 cable was cut by the screw (propeller). The Healy tried to find it and pick it with a grappling hook but it is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. We were unsuccessful in finding it. All of the scientists were very sincere and networking trying to see how another optics apparatus can get to us. I am guessing they meant either to St. Paul Island or by small boat. The apparatus cost $200,000. I can only imagine how Eurico D'Sa, Joaquim Goes, Maria Gomes, and Puneeta Naik feel. I felt like I prepared for this trip for a month and I did not have to do much for that preparation. This team must have put countless hours in preparation only to donate it to the bottom of the Bering.

The real up and down -
Yesterday I felt like I was on my honeymoon with Dana fishing for wahoo. Today the Bering had 10-foot seas, rained all day, and was in the low 40's. By Bering standards it was still a good day but being on the fantail deploying equipment, she could have been more accommodating to the mooring and optics teams.

Here I am holding the remote acoustic release. When the mooring is on the bottom, Kevin sends a signal, and the line is released.