John Wigglesworth is sailing on the Healy to make sure that the wooden boats are deployed on the Arctic sea ice along with the satellite GPS trackers and IABP buoys. John is a USCG Master Mariner and retired science teacher who has years of at sea experience teaching students how to navigate vessels and study the oceans. On board Healy, John is a science technician for scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He is captaining the deployment and launching of all the small wooden boats. We are very happy to have captain John on board. Thank you!
You might have noticed that the Healy position on the map has not changed in over a week. The northern latitudes have limited internet satellite coverage so the weather reports that Healy has been submitting are unable to be transmitted north of about 78 degrees. Healy also sends out the ship's position over satellite AIS (Automatic Identification System vessel tracking) so we were able to update the Healy position today. As of September 28, 2022 the ship was at 87.4N 142.4W.
Captain John reports the ice is thick which is slowing Healy’s progress. The Healy may or may not make it to the North Pole. We will do our best to keep everyone posted. We are getting updates from Healy because the science network has an Iridium internet connection. It has been the backbone of Healy’s high latitude science communications for over two decades.
Video above: Healy breaking first year ice. Imagine just how thick multi-year sea ice may be. Turn up the volume! The photographer used the GoPro stick while standing 25 feet above the ice on the bow to get this footage.