Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The ice breaker Healy is on the way
Here is an old pic of the USCG Healy in the Bering Sea, cutting through a thin layer of ice. It's now on its way to accompany the Russian tanker Renda which is taking emergency heating oil to Nome.
It's there just in case the tanker has trouble breaking the 5 foot thick ice on the way.
But today, the Russian tanker had to return to Dutch Harbor, not because of ice, but because of engine trouble. Apparently a valve alarm went off and they decided to return to replace it before reaching the thick ice.
Once they leave Dutch, it'll be 700 miles to Nome and 300 of that will be through the thick ice.
People are now starting to talk about the cost of this inter continental shipping. Seems like it would have been cheaper to ship American oil by plane after all.
There is also talk of bringing small nuclear power supplies to villages in Alaska. Don't laugh. Maybe we'll do a blog about that and you'll see that it is a good and safe consideration.
We'll keep you posted.