Edinburgh Island

August 21st, 2008 by Randy Jones

(68º30.8′ N, 110º40.7′ W — Coronation Gulf) I received a satellite phone call from the crew this morning. The radio signal has been very weak recently so our normal messaging routine was disrupted. They only stayed in Cambridge Bay for one night before pressing on Westward. While in Cambridge Bay they met Peter Semotiuk, the radio contact who guides all the boats through the Northwest Passage. It was nice to put a face to a voice, and thank him in person for his help.

As they moved West the weather has been rough with 10 foot waves washing over the front of the boat and up the windshield (waveshield). Thankfully the waves were coming from head on so the boat was able to buck them without as much rolling. But this means tiring work and constant switching of drivers. Today the weather improved and is calm, clear and about 38ºF when they called. The Forecast says it should hold like this for about three days. Yes! In other weather news, as it gets later in the summer it is starting to get really dark at night instead of just dusk. This means that they are spending less time driving at night. Still, they are able to cover about 130 miles per day.

Today they saw a new sailboat also going West. It was Australians Peter & Maeva Elliot aboard their 34 foot aluminum sloop Tyhina. The crews had spoken over the radio via Peter Semotiuk, but was the first time the two crossed paths. They are also headed for Alaska, so it’s probably not the last time! You can read about their adventure and see photos at: http://www.tyhina.com/

The crew reports the scenery has dulled. There’s no lovely icebergs to look at! Ha! Also the landscape has flattened out and is nearly as flat as the sea. A far cry from the majestic mountains and towering bergs of Baffin Island. This means that they’ve turned to baking as the chief source of entertainment. Muffins and bread were mentioned. My mouth watered. Too much information?

I also got a tentative schedule from the crew (keep in mind this is subject to weather and whim): 
8/24 – Tuk (Tuktoyaktuk), NWT
8/27 –  Prudhoe Bay, AK
8/29 – Point Barrow, AK
9/03 – Nome, AK

Also note: The satellite image in the website map is NOT built with current images. It is stitched together from images taken at different times of year over the past few years. Often if you zoom in, you suddenly change from summer to winter. I mention it, because if you zoom in on todays coordinates, you’ll see the area choked with ice. Not so. — Randy

6 Responses to “Edinburgh Island”

  1. Sharon Stonehouse Says:

    Dear Kip, Walt & crew:

    Mike shared your site with me and I was looking through some of your information. What a trip!! So anxious to hear your personal reports and details when you return from such an amazing voyage. I hope and pray you are all welll and getting some rest and warmth at this time. Amazing travel!! Things most of us will never have the opportunity to see in our lives…Enjoy and be safe/wise! May God guide your voyage and keep you all safe and well.

    In HIS amazing grace & love,
    Sharon Stonehouse

  2. Marcie Bowerman Says:

    Randy, you are such a gem for keeping us posted. I enjoy your imaginative reports tinged with humor (or is it splattered?).
    I’m not shy about asking another dumb question………Does the crew plan to motor all of the way around Alaska and down the west coast to berth in Alameda, or will they have Geraldine shipped at some point and they fly home due to the length of the trip and prevailing weather conditions? As for the execs. not being at CityTeam (Pat and Walt), seems to be a prime example of how God effectively delegates to other top-notch CityTeam staff. Is it way too premature to wonder when the crew will get back to good ol’, boring, northern CA? MarcieB.

  3. Randy Jones Says:

    Too soon Marcie. Too soon! Actually for my mom, she’ll be coming home in early September. But old Walter will be taking the boat to Sitka, in Southeast Alaska and leaving it there for the winter. No ice in Sitka, even in winter. So yes, they will motor all the way around Alaska, but no, they won’t come farther South until next summer. There will be several crew changes between now and Sitka, with more details coming as they happen. I’m not sure exactly where they are in terms of mileage, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was only half way. The heavy weather today is a reminder that the coming conditions and waves will be as much of a challenge as the ice, if not more, so keep the prayers coming.

  4. Kevin Conant Says:

    Amazing job with the Q&A, it was great to hear everyone’s voices and their input while at sea. We will continue to pray for their safe passage and for fair weather.

  5. Carlos Fetterolf, Jr. Says:

    I sent y’all a long message but am not sure if it went through cyberspace properely. This is a test to determine if I’m making contact.

    Best, Carlos

  6. Carlos Fetterolf, Jr. Says:

    Well, the long message didn’t make it – – – – my machine’s fault. My typing made very difficult with Parkinson’s so I’ll just summarize what I tried to send earlier.

    Chuck is fine as of yesterday. He’s ready for bridge league this year.

    Tell me how you acquired Arctic char – – – fishing – – -buying – – – trading?

    During Arfy basic training in FL we were limited to a standard canteen of water/day – – – – but just for a few days. The manufacturer of your desalinization machine should be sued – – – – Or lreft of a deserft island on tghne e

    I challeging Antarctica with Vange Travel come 8 Nov. Miami – Santiago – – Porft Mont — – crfuise Chilean fjords – – thence Patagonia and on tol Antarctoica – – – fly to Buenos Aires – – Miami. Can you imagine 23 days sharing a cabin ewith sa lafdy I’fve only spent 12 days wioth before. Whjat a tgest olf compatabikliktyh! Would you likre a folpyu ofg thjre .og?

    Good luick! Yolur frikend, Carflos

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