And We’re Off: Arctic Ocean Diaries No. 1

USCGC Healy in port at Dutch Harbor, Unalaska.Image courtesy of Master Chief Tim Sullivan, USCG

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Last Friday the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy sailed from the gorgeous shelter of Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, in the Aleutian Islands, bound north for the Arctic Ocean.

Healy is a research vessel carrying 38 science crew on this cruise. I’m working with Jeremy Mathis, a chemical oceanographer, and his lab, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He’s collaborating with Bob Pickart from WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), a physical oceanographer. They’re jointly investigating how a changing climate might be affecting the chemistry of ocean and atmosphere in the Arctic. I’ll write more about that later.

But for now we’re just hunkering down while Healy makes the 1,000-mile long transit from Dutch Harbor through the Bering and Chukchi Seas to the first research stations in the Beaufort Sea. We should arrive after three days, depending on weather. You can check out the view from Healy‘s Bridge from this webcam, which updates hourly.

So far the Bering Sea is being really kind to us. Fingers crossed.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.