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Dispatch 1: It Begins

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Alex Kain

September 17, 2009

Earlier today, leading oceanographers from America, Canada, China, Korea, and Japan boarded the CCGS Louis S.-St. Laurent to embark on a month of mooring deployments, collecting samples, and other scientific projects in the Beaufort Sea. Those researchers with experience on the Louis spent the afternoon laughing with familiar faces and recounting old memories. Those who were new to the ship spent the afternoon struggling to navigate the ship's extensive and labyrinthine hallways.

All scientists boarded the vessel via helicopter. Pictured here is the Louis viewed through the cockpit with the nearby town, Kugluktuk, in the distance.

One of those lost and confused individuals was me. My name is Alex Kain and I'll be writing dispatches from the Beaufort Gyre expedition over the next month. I graduated this spring from Yale after studying math and American history. My previous work experience includes college admissions, finance, journalism, and tutoring 2nd graders. Thus, my presence on a climatological research vessel is unlikely. But put your faith in me, trusty readers, and I'll fill your mind with exhilarating updates, nuggets of scientific knowledge, and stunning photos of a unique environment witnessed by a privileged few. I'll keep you updated as I learn the ropes when, for the first time in my life, that expression takes on literal meaning.

My intention is to do this in the most engaging way possible. While speaking with some experienced researchers about the best ways to accomplish this, we decided to brainstorm ways to reformat the dispatches' content to have wider appeal. Some of the ideas suggested are as follows:

A food blog--comment daily on the culinary offerings of the Beaufort Gyre mess hall.

A fashion blog--find this season's best Beaufort Gyre threads. Prediction: Carhart and Mustang suits are going to be big.

A reality blog--let readers determine one person to kick off the ship every week.

The dispatches may feature some or none of these ideas. Either way, expect the posts to abound with adventure and transport you, if only for a few minutes, up North.

All text and photos property of Alex Kain.


Last updated: October 7, 2019

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