Back in the USA!

August 28th, 2008 by Scott Jones

I got a call from Mom tonight to say that they have arrived in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska!  Since leaving Tuktoyaktuk, they have been unable to connect to their email, but have several updates to give us once they are reconnected.  They stopped off in Pullen Bay, and then did another all day, all night, all day run to arrive late tonight.  They are tired, and were ready to collapse!

Mom said that the Northern Lights were beautiful, but that they have only seen them the one night as the other nights have been overcast.

The phone connection was a little flakey and so our conversation ended up being cut off, but I was able to get an updated schedule.  They are on track, they believe, to get Mom to Nome so she can fly back to California on September 3rd, and then Pat to Dutch Harbor on September 11th.  Rebecca, Raime and I are hoping to fly up to meet Dad and Shane on September 13th.

This update came in from the crew this evening:

At 10:30 PM and 141 degrees West, Shane and Pat were on watch and celebrated the border crossing with a Chocolate Chip Cookie! We have been going on shifts through the day and night and are in following seas between 5-10′ high. They lift us up and we surf down them as if being carried along by God’s hand. We are five miles off shore and heading toward Barrow and expect to be there tomorrow night. We hope to get fuel there and press on to Nome where Ed will come aboard and Kip will get off. We hope to be in Nome 9/3.

The Geraldine just keeps on steady and strong. We made 40 gallons of water yesterday successfully also. (When the seas calm down we are all longing for a shower and clean hair!)

The land is so low we cannot pick it up as a radar target. The fog and clouds block a view of the distant mountains. We passed a ship pulling a barge coming toward us and had a conversation over the radio. It is always fun to make contact with the other boats at sea with us.

PS at 6:30 PM Stopped for the night at Cross Island right off of Prudhoe Bay. Prudhoe Bay is locked down tight; no visitors allowed without Homeland Security clearance. We are relaxing behind a sand spit so low it didn’t show up on the radar until about 1 mile away; yet it provides the protection we need against the sea. (70 deg 29.359′ N; 147 deg 59.555′ W)

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5 Responses to “Back in the USA!”

  1. Carlos Fetterolf, Jr. Says:

    To Wandering Walter et al – The Ann Arbor News 8/27 reported that Arctic Ocean sea ice had melted to the second lowest minimum since records have been kept (National Snow and Ice Data Center). Christopher Krenz of Oceana (a ngo envronmental advocacy group), advised that as more Arctic Ocean ice melts there is less ice to reflect the sun’s warmth away from the earth and larger expanses of dark open ocean to absorb the sun’s heat thus accelerating global warming. That makes sense. Hang in there. Carlos

  2. Bob Connors Says:

    Congratulations Walt, Kip, Pat and crew!

    I know you aren’t “home free” yet, but you are back in the USA! It’s been
    great following your progress. We had prayers for you at the BSF leaders
    meeting last Saturday. We are finally getting some summer heat here
    in the Bay Area, with temps forecast to 100 today. I guess a little
    warm weather will suit Kip well after the north country. Safe travels,
    you’re on the home stretch now!

    Best, Bob

  3. Marcie Bowerman Says:

    Thank you, Scott, for keeping us posted on our hero wayfarers! When I read that the itinerary for Pat is to fly home from Dutch Harbor, it reminded me of one of the new extreme adventure reality TV shows broadcast as, “America’s Toughest Jobs.” The greenhorn crew are people like New York executives who are used to surviving by their brains rather than their brawn. The crew’s first challenge was to be the deck hands on a crabbing ship out of DUTCH HARBOR!!! Besides the unforgiving conditions, it looked REALLY COLD! I think the “Voyage of the Geraldine” and her talented and inspired crew would definitely qualify as one of “America’s Toughest Jobs!!!!” May God keep you safe, healthy, rested, alert, and joyful. You all are your own Olympic event. Let’s hear it for the Stars and Stripes forever and “Cetius, Altius, Fortius” (faster, higher, stronger) WhooHoo! MarcieB.

  4. Jeff and Becky Davis Says:

    Congratulations on making it back to the USA! That giant sucking sound you may be hearing in the Arctic north is all the A/C running in the SF Bay area. We are about 60 degrees warmer than Prudoe Bay. The good news is that by the time Kip gets back next week will be back to perfect. May the LORD continue to watch over the crew and keep you safe as you continue on this wonderful adventure.

    To GOD be all the glory!

  5. Chuck Single Says:


    I would add my “welcome back” to the USA. My best guess is that you are 10 days (or so) from Nome, Alaska.

    Alaska has a holiday, Seward’s Day, on Feb 28th, generally the last day of the month on either the current calendar or the CHS (13 mo, each with 28 days per mo) calendar.

    Alaska also has a holiday, Alaska Day, on 10/18/08, but you all will be home well before then.

    I reacall that the USA paid Russia $7,000,000.00 or Alaska. Even with inflation, that was a bargain. Perhaps $7,000,000,000.00 in todays dollars. It was called “Seward’s Folly” at the time by some people.

    Sounds like Russia, when you can’t visit any place without a “security clearance”. Of course we are second to Russia in the number of people in jail … Russia’s reasons are political, while ours are drug related. Perhaps we should de-criminalize some drugs, and treat it like a health problem. The Dutch have done this and seem to like the approach. England tried it with herion, but stoppen when the number of addicts doublen in one year. I’ sure it would be controversial, but the present “War on Drugs” program seems to be failing ….. just more people in jail and TONS of drugs still arriving each month. There has to be a lot of people in Walt’s or Scott’s generation “doing drugs” on the weekend (at least). It’s not me, so I don’t contribute to the problem. Education helps, but not enough. What is the answer ?? Walt, you deal with such people an a daily basis. Do you haave an opinion ??

    Enough of my rambling, I guess I will go back to trying to understand gravity. Quanum gravity ??

    Good Luck with the big waves !!

    Much Love, Dad

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