2015, Drift Arrows aiming for the North Pole

In 2015 the Healy will be supporting the internation GEOTRACES program which  aims to improve the understanding of biogeochemical cycles and large-scale distribution of trace elements and their isotopes in the marine environment.   

First Puget Sound Drift arrow launch set for December 14, 2013

A successful drift arrow launch happened at Sunset Bay Wharf on Saturday December 14 with one hundred arrows loosed by the Northshore Junior High School students from position 47.864947° -122.333669°.    Here is a video of the launch into Puget Sound. 

Drift Arrows go local in Puget Sound

The drift arrow launch in the Arctic for 2013 was interrupted due to a number of factors not the least of which was the US Government shut down.  So in 2013 the Drift Arrow program will go local in Puget Sound!  Dave is working with an 8th grade teacher from Northshore Junior High School and her science students will be crafting drift arrows for tracking circulation in Puget Sound.  This will also be a good chance to test the efficacy of using drift arrows to track circula

Oceanography at the top of the world

Andrey Proshutinsky is an Oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who studies Ocean circulation at the top of the world in the Arctic Ocean.   Andrey has generously contributed his computer model simulation of the Arctic ocean circulation for use in the Drift Arrow project.   You can visit the drift map link to view his computer model predictions of where the arrows have drifted.  Drift track maps are updated monthly with each run of his model. 

Andrey's web site has a wealth of information and has a great section on the history of geographic and science expedtions to the Arctic.    This video shows what Andrey Proshutinsky is studying in the Arctic.  

Iced in

Ice extent on Nov 9, 2012

As winter descends, Sea ice (shown in red in the map) is swallowing up the Arctic along with the drift arrows and buoys.  No one can say what will happen to the Tonkin arrows as they freeze within or ontop of the ice?  Two of the buoys are still reporting so hopefully they will continue.


Mission accomplished

The cruise was a success and now it is back to shoreside life.  I was able to produce a 10 minute video showing some of the science operations happening as well as shipboard life.  The movie is 1080 HD so you can select the gear on the video frame and change the resolution.



Heading back to Dutch

rough seas

We had to suspend some science operations since the seas are very rough.  Slowly making our way back to Dutch Harbor. 

The wind has switched around to the South so it may push the arrows further north.  Watch the Drift Map to see how the satellite drift buoys react to the wind and currents.

Check out Melanie Smith's blog on Audubon Alaska's web site.

Aurora last night and sun today

Northern Lights underwater view of Healy Glider deployement

Two night ago I saw the Aurora for the first time.  It was quite amazing.  I will never forget the dancing it did.  Changing by the second it had many forms.  So I missed the movie in the hanger for a rare performance.

Above is a picture from under the ship showing the two rudders and propellers.  The water was very clear and I sent my camera down to almost 100' and the video revealed the ships h

Drift arrows away


AR42 CTD view undwater

We had a few archers on the deck today to loose 101 drift arrows during a science stop.  Kenmore Elementary, Glacier Park Elementary, Seattle Waldorf School and the Jewish Day School were represneted in this deployment.  Everyone had fun reading the arrows before they were set adrift.  The arrows were launched at -150.879654 and 72.655535 off the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.  An ARGOS satellite drogue buoy and an iridium satellite drift buoy were released into the water with the arrows so we can track the drift.  I hope to post the new positions on the drift map so stay tuned.

Today I also had the opportunity to do some underwater photography in the super clear water that is offshore in the Arctic right now.  This image shows the view from underwater of the A-Frame used to deploy instruments over the side of the ship into the ocean.

Healy science today

The satellite internet connection has not been very good on the ship so no photos today.  We retreived two moorings today and deployed a glider (looks like a torpedo with wings).  On Saturday we might be in position to loose the next 100 drift arrows.  All decorated by Kenmore, Glacier, SWS and JDS.