Tales From ICESCAPE: The Final Countdown

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July 28, 2011

Mustang suits are hung, boxes packed, and pagers turned in. Tomorrow we arrive in Seward, Alaska, and step foot on land again for the first time in 34 days. Here’s a look at the ICESCAPE 2011 campaign by the numbers.

Days at sea: 34 (tomorrow, after docking in Seward, Alaska)

Days of science data collection: 26

On July 25, 2011, the final water samples of the ICESCAPE mission awaited analysis in the lab on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy.

Arctic Waters

Ocean stations: 173

Chlorophyll samples: 889

Casts of the CTD/rosette package:188

Bottles fired on the rosette: 1,626 (48,780 liters of water – most was returned to the ocean!)

Salinity samples from CTD/rosette: 924

Nutrient samples from the CTD/rosette: 949

Casts of optical instruments (PRR and IOP) from the Healy: 47 each


On the Ice

Ice stations: 9

Measurements of spectral albedo (the amount of light reflected from the ice): 95

Measurements of light transmission above and below the ice: 242 sets

Measurements of ice thickness with the electromagnetic inductance device: 2,411

Nutrients samples from melted ice cores: 359

Nutrient samples from under the ice (including melt ponds): 65


Small Boat

Small boat excursions: 15 (14 successful – one outing returned early due to leads in the ice closing in around the boat).

Swimming polar bears sighted at eye level: 1

FS3 Gary Arndt frequently made rounds around the ship with a plate of delicious warm cookies. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen

Ship Life

Tournaments: 4 3 (cribbage, basketball, ping pong and soccer)

Band practices: 5

Enchiladas rolled: more than 1,000

Pounds of pasta boiled: more than 500

Cookies baked: more than 3,000

Coffee drinks served in the ship’s java hut: more than 300

Ship Position at 2011/07/29 02:39:20

Long: 152 55.015 W   Lat: 56 48.921