Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Into the Gulf: New Video

A new video surfaced today, produced by the Nome Nugget. It features video shot by Capt Peter Garay, the Alaska Marine Pilot assigned to guide the M/T Renda from Dutch Harbor to Nome.

Almost 10 minutes in length, Capt Peter Garay captured fantastic sights and sounds of ice literally scraping the paint off the Renda's hull!

Another brief scene shows USCG Beverly Havlik, Captain of the Healy, dropping in on the Renda crew by snow-cat.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Into the Gulf.

Update Tuesday Jan 31st. Apparently Healy made a brief stop at Dutch Harbor. This morning's position report shows her well into the Gulf of Alaska, heading toward a well deserved rest at home port in Seattle.

"Well Done! to the Officers and Crew of both the USCG Healy and R/T Renda. And an extra ration of grog all 'round!

Monday, Jan 30 2012. Nome Energy Supply Mission Completed.

It's not clear exactly when the USCG Healy parted ways with the Russian Tanker Renda. From position reports and other sources, it is clear that the vessels were finally free of the ice pack sometime Sunday afternoon January 29th.

The R/T Renda having completed an historic resupply to an Alaskan Community, is returning to home base in Vladivostok, Russia.

While many news sources report the Healy is not stopping in Dutch Harbor, my "arm-chair" navigation plot shows the Healy abeam of Unalaska Island - above - and has stopped at latitude 53° 58.4' N, longitude 166° 30.7' W. That would be inside Dutch Harbor.

Whatever the case may be, I thoroughly enjoyed every nail biting moment and relaying my excitement to you. And a wonderful demonstration of how two "powers" can work together to accomplish good, as long the "damn politicians keep their noses out of it."

It was an amazing adventure. One can only hope the Discovery Channel got a camera crew on board the Healy. I've listed links to related stories below.

Saturday, January 28, 2012.

While the headline stories report the asinine antics of two misfits for the Republican nomination, the story of the historic tanker resupply of petroleum products is about 3/4ths complete.

As Captain Havlik pointed out, getting to Nome was only half the adventure! A journey made more trecherous by the unusual movement of the Bering Sea Ice Pack.

As of Saturday morning, the USCG Healy and T/V Renda were just off the southwest coast of Nunivak Island. The recorded latitude and longitude were as of 1900 UTC. Outside air temperature was recorded at -5°F.

The epic voyage of these two vessels pointed out the dire condition of our Coast Guard to perform ice breaking duties. In fact, I was chewing my nails each day as they got deeper into the ice field wondering, "What if one of them breaks down?" As far as I can determine, the nearest ice breaking tug or ice breaker would have to come from Sakhalin Island in Russia.

The Healy is classified as "medium duty" ice breaker. With the Polar Star decommissioned, we only have one heavy duty ice breaker, the Polar Sea, to work Arctic and Antarctic missions. And she's out of service for major repairs.

The shortage of vessels is amplified by the rush to develop offshore oil drilling in the Arctic.

So while we fritter away our tax dollars "nation building" for people who could care less, not only our ice breaker fleet, but entire national infrastructure is going down the drain.

See Also:
Nome Rescue Mission
The Renda Has Landed!
The Human Side of the Story
Sailing Day

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