Sea Ice & Survival Suits

Once everyone was on board and our equipment was all set up, the ship got underway on Saturday. It didn't take long before we saw our first chunks of sea ice floating by the ship.

Already we have seen more sea ice this year than on our entire 2002 Arctic cruise. We were much farther west, out in the Chukchi Sea, in 2002 and this year we will be heading east up into the Canadian Arctic.

I was a *little" excited about the sea ice, so I had to take a "Sea Ice Selfie".

With the ship underway, it was time for some safety drills -- first man overboard, then abandon ship drills. Next up was survival suit training. These cold water immersion suits -- also known as "Gumby Suits" (given the striking resemblance to Gumby while wearing one) -- are standard on most ships and will keep you warm and dry for hours in the water. Watching people try these on for the first time is always entertaining! One of the Coast Guard crew members went over the basics, then it was time for the fashion show. It is much easier to get the suit on with plastic bags over your boots and once in you might look a little alien!

(Above) Scripps grad students Thomas Martin and Shannon Klotsko (CCU '11) model their fine looking Gumby suits. (Below) Shannon the Gumby Alien.