“The climate there is changing. The amount of population there is changing,” said Shalane Regan, a Healey scientist and polar research coordinator at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center. More and more ships are sailing there and we need to have a solid understanding of the area to protect it. ”
Melting ice sheets are opening up previously closed corridors and vast areas of the Arctic, a trend that could have a major impact on global shipping in the near future, the World Economic Forum predicts. There is. Meanwhile, several countries surrounding the North Pole (USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Denmark (via control of Greenland)) seek to gain access to valuable untapped mineral deposits. are competing with At the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. The proverbial gold rush is also known as the “Arctic land grab.”
Chalip said that despite the economic pressures, the international scientific community in the Arctic remains “very friendly.” She deferred other questions about mineral rights to the U.S. State Department.
This year will be crew member Erin Asher’s second voyage aboard the Healy.
“Last year we went to the North Pole and it was so amazing,” Asher said.
The Healy’s voyages were long and mentally taxing, and the crew often had to “stay sane,” Asher said. That sanity is balanced by several amenities offered by Healy, including board his games, a small cafe, trivia nights, and ice cream sundaes.
“Or Sunday Sunday as we call it,” Sharip said. “Sundae Sunday is still very popular in the Arctic.”
“We like to eat ice cream on Sundays and count the days left on the boat,” Asher said.
The crew of the Healy still has a few Sundays left. The ship will depart from Charleston on the afternoon of November 6, and from there will travel through the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal, down the Atlantic Coast, and eventually return to her home port of Seattle. Several tours and other events are scheduled for the weekend, but a Coast Guard spokesperson said the ship is closed to the public.