Archive for July, 2008

Fixing and Fending

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

All the parts arrived and were installed today so we now have a water maker going again, a new starter motor & fuel cutoff solenoid so the engine fired right up and stopped. We have lots of spare parts for the water maker though the company again sent us a faulty part. The metal pipe they sent was stripped at one end and so Shane literally stretched the stainless pipe we had to make it fit. Wow! We are thankful for Luc, Joe and Charlotte for helping us get our parts together. The things flown in arrived Wednesday night and not Friday. Pat and Shane stayed at the hotel last night and Shane said he kept running to the window to look for ice all night long! They walked to the airport and on to the Napa parts store to get all the things and walked back to shore; several miles in the rain. Meanwhile, at the Geraldine, Skip, Walt & Kip did shifts around the clock to keep the ice away and were successful. We hope to head out tomorrow after fueling up and settling up, returning borrowed tools etc. Tomorrow we will get the current ice conditions before heading out of Frobisher Bay. The weather is supposed to shift big time and the rain depart and winds shift.

The grocery store here is amazing; much like at home where you can find about anything you want at a price including fresh spices, baby salad greens, cheeses etc. Milk is $12.00 for four liters. There is only one paved road in town and no traffic lights. It feels like the frontier which it is. There are many vacationers here for the total eclipse tomorrow; the hotels are full.

From Walt: This week has been very hard and stressful on us all. We have a new, very healthy respect for ice. All are eager for a change of scenery. The big question remains whether we turn right of left at the head of the bay. More this weekend on that.

Editor’s Note: I spoke to mom in the middle of the night tonight via the satellite phone during her shift on ice duty. She sounded tired (understandably) with the business of being anchored in the harbor as ice chunks the size of the boat go bump in the night. That said, she was clear that everyone is well (even Dad’s infected finger is mostly mended). They are grateful for the successful repairs and the procurement of spare parts. As far as prayers go, she was asking for clear direction and a unified conclusion after they read the lastest ice reports. — Randy

Taking stock in Iqaluit

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Editor’s Note: We got an email from Mom and later, an email from Dad giving the latest news. Below are their respective thoughts as they take stock in Iqaluit. Be sure to check back to previous posts as they are now replete with photos of bears and burgs!


The weather has been the pits; wind out of the SE, rain, cold to the bone AND ice floating all around the boat. We have been fending off the ice for the most part and get bumped occasionally. They are mostly growlers mixed with some bergy bits. They move with the wind right into the harbor and also affected by tidal currents. Locals say that it hasn’t been this bad for 10 years. So much for global warming!

Things are expensive here. For example w/o the watermaker we’ll need water soon. Many of the houses are served municipal water by truck. Great! Except the minimum charge is $200. We need about 130 gallons. It’s not Perrier either. So Pat went to the store where you can buy 7 gallons in a container for $27. Our new friend Joe is loaning us containers and we hope to get 30 or 40 gallons tomorrow.

Parts will arrive Friday so we are stuck for a while. We have been working on cleaning up the mess created by the salt water dousing in the engine room when the water maker broke. Much is fixed, but the main engine still hasn’t run. We think the problem is the starter motor itself, but it could be batteries also. I hope nothing else is wrong.

PS. Parts are arriving tonight. Hurrah!


We got a hotel room to get internet access and shower as our water is low and the only way to get water on board is to carry out gerry cans which cost $27.00 each empty. We are managing pretty well though the stress has been high. Walt and Shane worked analysis work on the motor, solenoid, and alternator problems all day yesterday while Pat and Skip fended off the ice. The ice bergs go in and out with the tide which is second only to the Bay of Fundy. If they surround us they can crush us and the under pieces can destroy the instruments on the bottom of the boat. So we do shifts day and night as they pass us by.

Walt just called me at the hotel sounding excited. Yesterday a man named Luc was sent to us by the Lord. He is a mechanic at the airport and works on their snow blowers which use the same diesel engines as we have. (This airport has 8000 feet of run way and is an alternate Nasa Shuttle landing site. Movie stars stop here in their private jets to refuel all the time). With Luc’s help, they hope to resolve the engine troubles. Walt and Shane were going back to the boat in the Olive to get started.

We will be looking at the state of the boat and the ice reports this weekend and making the decision about turning back. All of us were scared as we passed through the “water” that was 90% covered with ice on our way into Frobisher Bay on the get home engine. Pat was in the crows nest on the intercom directing Walt right and left as we went because from the main salon we couldn’t see a way to go. We have been afraid to use up minutes on the sat phone because it is our main means of communication with the locals. We looked into getting a local cell for a week and it was $250 so we are using the sat phone. This rented hotel room gives us a way to communicate more easily. We are all fine and in good spirits; seeing God provide and see us through in very tangible ways. But, we are asking if He is telling us to stop as we face SO many obstacles. The team will decide. All of us have voiced the thoughts of turning back.

Nunaventurous Newfoundanimals

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Here are a few of the indigenous inhabitants that we’ve documented so far:

Fiesta Food Fotos

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Still eating well:

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