Northern light longings

August 28th, 2008 by Kip "Galley Master" Jones

(71 deg 16.3′ N 154 deg 43′ W) It is about 4:00 am and we have been on our watch since 1:00. We are now 30 miles from Barrow. We observe the sun in an interesting way on these nights. The sun is going down right at the bow as we travel west. At 1:00 if we look to starboard at, 2:00 on the horizon, and there is an orange glow which travels along the horizon until it is almost behind us, and then the sun rises. This has been happening each night and is something very beautiful to look at as we go. I got a picture to show you. It is dark before us so we can’t see any obstacles and pray through the night that God would clear a path before us and He has been so faithful. When we went up Baffin Island the skies were mostly clear and we had so much light through the night. This has not been the case through the Beaufort Sea; clouds cover the sky and it is more than a month later. We hope to have a night that is clear and get the opportunity to see northern lights. We did see them while in Tuk while aground and it was so cool. Do you remember my telling you about seeing them out the plane window when going to Paris 2001? Both times the lights were white and moving about as if coming near and then drifting back.

The throttle on the engine has started sticking and keeping us going at full speed ahead! Only a bad thing when you want to stop. We have been running constantly at 1300 rpm and when the driver lowers it to idle, it takes 11 minutes for the engine to slow down. We first discovered this as we came into Cross Island, and Shane could not slow down so we went in a circle until the motor did slow down enough to anchor.

We have seen several boats with AIS in the fog and contacted them to make our presence known and that has been fun.

We had pizza for dinner last night and continue to have salad from Salinas. The lettuce was packaged in a bag that prevents deterioration and it works! I want to contact the company when I get home!

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I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go — Genesis 28:15