Preparing for Life at Sea

Clothing

It is recommended that you bring durable clothes for the trip. Bring warm, comfortable, "layerable" clothing. The temperature inside is regulated. The temperature outside does not respond to the thermostat. You should be prepared for cold conditions. Don't forget your extremities: Balaclava or Seirus Combo Clava Stocking cap A221 Men's Color Enhanced Insulated Waterproof Breathable Utility Glove Heavy wool socks

Back to top

Command Structure

Shipboard relationships between the Coast Guard military structure and the civilian science personnel can seem complicated even for experience Arctic Scientists.  Please review the Command organization chart for an overview of the structure on Healy.

Operational support and day to day planning of where the ship will go starts with the Operations officer who communicates directly with the Chief Scientist.  Any input from the science party is ususally provided to the Chief Scientist who will approach the Operations officer with the plan.

1800 planning meeting in the Cabin" - Each day after diner the chief scientist will meet in the Captain's cabin for a summary of the days operatons and planning for the next 24 hours of operations. This meeting is attended by the CO (Commanding Officer) and The XO (Exectutive officer), each of the department heads on Healy which includes: OPS (Operations Officer), EO (Engineering Officer) and SUPPO (Supply Officer).  The Marine Science Officer also attends and usually the MST chief.  A science technical support representitive also attends the 1800 meeting.

The Healy will sail with at least four Marine Science Technicians (MSTs).  MSTs are enlised Petty Officers who will most likely have very limited experience conducting oceanographic research at sea.  They typically are on board healy for a three year tour.  They will be on deck with the scientists and are managed by the Marine Science Officer (MSO).  MSTs will run the winches and will deploy over the side science gear.  At least one MST will be on deck at all times. 

Science technical support will be provided by Ship-based Science Technical Support in the Arctic (STARC) contract personnel.  This will include everything from sensor calibrations to data distribution for shipboard science systems.  IT and email support is provided by the USCG Electronics Support Unit (ESU).  This will include email accounts and network connections on the ship.  ESU also manages the satellite communications

Back to top

Electricity

Electrical Power on Healy is different than what you are used to on shore. Please visit this link so you can be prepared to safely use Healy's AC power.  The US Coast Guard released this safety alert in April 2013 about surge surpressors on ships.

APC makes several types of uninterruptible power supplies (700, 1500, and 3000 VA) for shipboard use: http://www.apc.com/products/special_products/index.cfm. Only units that are marked for shipboard use are acceptable as these are ungrounded and equipped with switching to break both L1 and L2. The larger units are rack mounted. There may be other suitable vendors, but this is the one that I recall being quoted by MLCP(t) for backing up WHEC navigational electronics.

The ship will provide outlet strips if needed in the lab areas. Please talk to STARC personnel or a Marine Science Technician about using the proper power strip in the labs.

All electrical equipment must be grounded, to reduce the risk of electrical shock. Any piece of equipment plugged into the ship's outlets must have a plastic case and an undamaged cord. A visual safety check should be completed before any item is plugged into the ship’s electrical system.

Back to top

E-mail/File Transfer

You should have regular e-mail communications with the wider world all the way across the Arctic Ocean. As you go further north, our options for communication are limited, which translates to limited bandwidth. Review the recommendations at this link and follow them, it will make your communications more reliable and ensure your continued contact with the outside world. Large file transfers may be possible even from high latitude, if it is necessary for the science program. It would be better if you planned ahead to take only limited advantage of this.

Back to top

Entertainment

Movies are shown on the messdeck. Movies can be signed out for the science lounge as well. There is a limited selection of books on board. Recent magazines are coveted by the crew after time at sea.

Back to top

Exercise Room

The Gym is located on the 2nd deck directly below the messdeck. There are several weight machines, lifecycles, stair climbers, and other typical weight room items. You are welcome to use any of this equipment, but please wipe down equipment and stow everything for sea when you are finished. Special wipes are available in the gym for cleaning the equipment after use, however please bring a small hand towel or sweat band for personal use.

Back to top

Daily Schedule

  • 0700-0800: Breakfast
  • 1100-1200 Lunch
  • 1700-1800 Dinner
  • 1800 Early Movie
  • 2000 Late Movie
  • 2300-2345: Midrats- Priority to Oncoming Watchstanders

Back to top

Holiday Schedule (Sundays/Holidays)

  • 0700-0900 Breakfast
  • 1000 Catholic Service
  • 1030 Protestant Service (Sundays only)
  • 1100-1200 Lunch
  • 1700-1800 Dinner
  • 1800 Early Movie
  • 2000 Late Movie
  • 2300-2345 Midrats

Back to top

Laundry

There is a laundry on the ship with laundry soap provided. Do not bring your own. HEALY's sewage system requires that you use a highly-concentrated, low-suds soap. Don't forget to pack a mesh laundry bag.

Back to top

Library

The USCGC Healy Polar Library contains books, maps and other materials relevant to the worlds polar regions. The library collections will be from generous donations and will encompass materials on the history of polar exploration, polar oceanography and meteorology, as well as other polar subjects. Current inventory of the library can be viewed by clicking here. To make a donation to the library please send the following information to PolarLibrary@icefloe.net: Title, author, paperback or Hardcover, Publisher, publisher date, ISBN Once the information is received about the proposed donation, the material will be assessed for relevance and duplication and a reply will be made within two weeks. The Healy Polar Library is dedicated to the memory of Jessica Hill and Steven Duque who perished in a diving accident in 2006 in the Arctic Ocean.

Back to top

Life Onboard Healy

HEALY is a self-sufficient community of approximately 100 crew members plus as many as 50 members of the science party. There is usually a full house aboard HEALY, so science party members may be assigned three to a stateroom. All science party members have use of the Science Conference Room / Lounge and Messdeck for recreational activities. If invited by a crew member, you are more than welcome to join them in one of the crew's lounges. As with any ship, you are a guest in the crew's house. It is wise to pay attention to what people are doing and respect their privacy. If you are in doubt about doing something ask first.

Back to top

Meals

There are four meals a day. All of them feature some sort of hot food.   Midnight Rations "midrats" are served as breakfast meal (click here for 2012 Midnight Rations Policy).  Expect a declining supply of fresh fruit and vegetables during the cruise. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located around the ship, including the mess deck so please sanitize your hands before entering the chow line. If there is some food item (chocolate, quality coffee, soft drinks, candy etc.) you cannot live without, you should bring enough for your purposes. Sharing it is nice too. At the end of the cruise, you may be presented with a mess bill. The charge for meals is ~10 US$ per day. You can pay with a personal check drawn on a US bank. It may be necessary to make some arrangement to pay it prior to the cruise. ***Meals for NSF funded science programs are billed directly to NSF so cruise participants are not required to pay onboard.

Back to top

Medical Forms

If you have not done so already, you should send in your medical form before the start of the cruise. The form can be downloaded here. Select the link labeled "downloaded here." When completed you can submit it according to the instructions on the form. It would be a good idea to bring a copy with you when you come to meet the ship in port. While it is not necessary for the form itself, for your own comfort and safety, you should take care of any troublesome medical and/or dental conditions before sailing. Be sure to bring enough prescription medications for the duration of the cruise.

Back to top

Packing list

Medical form completed Bath towel Hand towel for the gym Mesh laundry bag Full size sheets (optional) Flip flops for shower Steel toe boots Contact lens solution Pump hand soap Body bar soap Shampoo Wool socks Insulated waterproof steel toe boots Insulated waterproof work gloves Balaclava Stocking cap Personal snacks and treats EFI's Powertracker MPS-6 surge protection device Personal check for paying mess bill

Back to top

Pager System

HEALY is equipped with an internal pager system. Each crew member and member of the science party will be issued pagers upon reporting to the ship. This system is an effective means for locating people onboard and virtually replaces the need for general announcements ("pipes"). Telephone/pager directories are available in most spaces on the ship. The pager system can be accessed from any internal telephone using the following procedure: 1. Dial 277 on the telephone. 2. At the first tone, enter the pager number you are calling, followed by the # sign. 3. At the second tone, enter the extension you would like that person to contact, followed by the # sign. 4. Hang up the telephone.

Back to top

Plan of the Day (POD)

The POD is produced daily and posted each evening for the following day. It lists special events, announcements, and any changes to the daily routine.

Back to top

Safety Clothing

If you are going to be working on the fantail, you should have "working deck shoes" with reinforced toes, steel or fiberglass toed boots/shoes (the latter may be better in cold environments). Also, be prepared to don a mustang suit when you go out. Recommended for use on Healy: Norcross Servus Xtratuf Steel-toe Insulated boot

Back to top

Science Talks

The crew and officers are giving a lot of time to support your science. In an effort to give something back, there will be a series of science talks/presentations. Please bring overheads, powerpoint presentations, etc., and expect to be called upon sometime during the cruise to stand up and explain your science. The talks are well attended and contribute to everyone's understanding of why you are going where you are going and doing what you do.

Back to top

Securing for Sea

Keeping your personal and scientific gear secured for sea cannot be emphasized enough. HEALY will roll and pitch in rough weather and seas, and will experience vibration during icebreaking. Improperly secured gear my be damaged or cause hazards to people. The ship cannot be held responsible for damage caused by poor stowage or a failure to properly secure gear. If you have any questions regarding proper stowage procedures, consult with one of the Marine Science Technicians (MST).

Back to top

Sheets, Towels, and Toiletries

It will be necessary for you to bring your own towel(s). The USCG does not provide towels, but will sell you one from the ship store if you forget. The USCG does provide sheets for the beds. Some of these sheets are rather grey from use. If you use the USCG sheets, you will be responsible for returning them, clean, at the end of the cruise. Washing sheets after your last night onboard can be hectic so some people bring their own sheets (full-sized) to avoid this. You should also bring your own soap, shampoo, etc. Contact lens solution is not available on the ship so make sure you bring an adequate supply. Shower shoes or flip flops are important for your, and your shipmates, hygiene so please pack these since the ship does not sell them in the ship's store. Shower shoes are for use in the shower and in your cabin. Open toed shoes and slippers are not acceptable anywhere else on the ship. Since you may not want to wear your steel toes all the time, a pair of sneakers, comfortable shoes or light boots are strongly recommended.

Back to top

Staterooms

After you arrive, come directly to the ship and report to the quarter deck to check in and receive your stateroom assignment. During your time on HEALY, you will probably be sharing a room with two other members of the science party. You and your room-mates will be responsible for keeping your stateroom and the sink in it clean. Two staterooms share a single shower and toilet. Keeping it clean is also a shared responsibility. Before you leave the ship, your stateroom and head will be inspected. If you have kept it clean during the time you will be onboard, you will be a happier person. The toilets on board can take only human waste and the provided toilet paper. Do not flush anything else down. Flushing anything else down the toilets tends to clog them. When the toilets are clogged the entire system can be shut down, sometimes for a few hours, leading to your immediate and immense unpopularity among your shipmates.

Back to top

Trash and Recycling

Award winning recycling program and Trash disposal on Healy

Back to top