Friday, October 17, 2014

Ice breaker Healy

When one of the Coast Guard's two ice breakers, the Healy, stopped in town we took the afternoon off work to tour the boat. This 420 foot boat does scientific studies in the Arctic as well as provides support to any distressed mariners up north.

Back in 2012, the Healy lead the Russian tanker Renda through the ice offshore Nome to ensure that the town got their winter fuel. An early storm had prevented them from getting their final shipment. The crew of the Healy gave up their Christmas holiday when they heard that Renda was willing to help and the turned around and headed back north.

It was fun to see the breaker's bridge and skiffs as well as their heliport. We were most surprised by the whole rack of bikes, I assume they use for shore excursions. On the bridge we were impressed by all the handles, floor surfaces, etc. to help them stay on their feet in rough water. I felt bad for the crew, having to constantly tell people not to climb on or swing from various equipment. One crew member  had lost her voice from talking all day, but she was still there answering questions.

After our tour we headed to Sandy beach to attend our neighbor's wedding and reception.

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