Arctic Summer West 2001

Here is a photo log of my journey to the north country.


We saw these fires while flying over Utah's Great Salt Lake. Pretty spectacular colors!


This was a scene in Idaho - lots of open farm lands and circular irrigation. The farms are in "The Magic Valley" leading into Twin Falls.


Here are the pilots, after stopping in Utah to deal with a small problem with one of the helicopters. The mechs are working on it, otherwise they'd be in the picture too.


This is the CGC POLAR SEA after landing the first of the two helos. They are leaving Seattle enroute the fuel pier.


This is the bridge of the POLAR SEA. Note the TV monitors which watch the flight deck during ship landings. The bridge is 84 feet wide!


This is a picture of the POLAR SEA looking aft from the bridge. They have cranes to help launch science packages over the side.

ed's hat

This is me with my new hat. WAGB stands for "Coast Guard Auxiliary Gun Boat". Too bad we don't really have a gun.


Here are the helicopters all tied down in the hangar. The weather has been foggy, and the hangar helps protect the helos from the salt spray.

get the buoy

One of our first missions has been to retrieve and deploy underwater buoys for NOAA. Here our boat crew has part of the buoy floatation system.

Ed's Rack

Here is my rack on board the cutter. I have about a half meter of space to sleep in. The blue curtain on the left keeps the light out. I brought flannel sheets which are *really* nice in the cold!

shoe shine

The ship conducted a burial at sea, and I got to bugle taps. Before the ceremony the whole AVDET got together in the Avionics Shop to shine shoes.


After lunch is time reserved for training. I gave a quick talk on our MSR all-fuel stove, then we practiced setting up the tent from the Arctic/Antarctic Survival Kit (AASK).

The dome tent is very roomy for one, but it is supposed to be for up to 4 people. It has four poles for strength and a heavy-duty outer cover for true Arctic comfort.


We woke to view Shishaldin volcano on the 1st of August. It it on the eastern side of Unimak Pass, the barrier between the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. The picture is through the 'bull nose' on the bow of the POLAR SEA.

fish call

Before we went through the pass, the ship had fish call. Notice we can still go without gloves. That will change in a few days...


The ship practices for emergencies every week. Our job is to be ready to help the fire teams help put on their equipment. Todd wanted to see what it was like.

Avdet 152

Here we all are, still in Alcatraz mode after three weeks underway.

These are the Engineering Top Dogs, engaged in fueling operations. Chief is wearing the sound powered phones.

Motor Surf Boat

This is "SEA-1" the Motor Surf Boat, or MSB. Most Cutters have two small boats, named with 3 letters and 1 number. We used this to get passengers from Nome on the last day at anchor.

Ed in Avionics

Here I am in Avionics. Since we have been at anchor and haven't been flying, there has been plenty of time to read, study, and rest up. We are quite ready to start doing our thing next week.