What in the Tuktoyaktuk happened?August 25th, 2008 by Walt "The Skipper" Jones
Or in other words, Geraldine is once again the talk of the town! We thought it’d be a good idea to take the small boat entrance to get to the public dock (yes they have a real dock – a very big deal in this part of the world.) Skip Boselli will have the last laugh because I always was jumping him for cutting the corner. Well, this time I got caught & we are hard aground at the entrance to the harbor. The western Arctic is incredibly shallow. We have run all day & night in under 30 feet of water. We expect the same all the way to Barrow, AK. The Canadian Coast Guard tried to free us tonight but gave up because of a falling tide. They will resume in the morning. We are currently “listing” about 7 degrees to starboard so Pat will have trouble staying in his bunk tonight. We are all fine and in good humor. More soon. We have made arrangements for fuel in the AM and have been in contact with the RCMP; they are very helpful, but we are still very stuck!
8/25 PS: Last night was scary. As the tide went down, Geraldine listed to starboard about 20 degrees. The freezer drawer opened by itself, fell out on the floor with a loud bang, awakening Shane (Kip was already awake.) She woke me up. We started shifting weight to port to prevent further listing. In the midst of it all we looked up at the sky and saw brilliant greenish-white northern lights. We all prayed that God would watch over us and keep us safe. At 8 AM the inflatable from the CCG vessel Nahidik came to help pull us off the mound of gravel that captured us. We used the 150 HP of the inflatable , the bow thruster and finally Geraldine’s main engine to get us off. Within a few feet we were clear. We are now sitting at the dock in Tuktoyaktuk waiting on fuel, to reprovision and to make arrangements for the next crew change. You’ll see we had a taste of Salinas as we found beautiful lettuce in Tuk, even if if Romaine was $4.95 a head! We also cleared out of Canada through customs with the aid of the Tuktoyaktuk RCMP.
8/25 6:30 PM Anchored behind Pullen Island (69 deg 46′ N,134 deg 26′ W) We got fuel & successfully departed Tuktoyaktuk. We went over 10 miles from the harbor in 12 feet or less of water! Wow, is this ever different from the east coast. Pat made another loaf of bread; onion and garlic and it was delicious!