Geraldine leaves the Arctic

August 31st, 2008 by Walt "The Skipper" Jones

It is 8 PM ADT, and we’ve just been boarded by the USCG vessel Hamilton. Randy, you will remember our boarding in Dixon Entrance after 9/11. This was the same experience – routine safety inspection – out of sight of land, but this time we are 13 miles from Russian territory. We just crossed the Arctic Circle too, so that is another big milestone. We have been above it for nearly a month.

The remaining big deal is that tonight we will go as far west as we will go on this trip. Dutch Harbor is a little bit east of us, as is Hawaii. Seas are building, and we are not looking forward to tonight’s shift.

Later tonight we will go by the Diomede islands. The east island belongs to the US and the west island is Russia. There is less than 1 mile between the two. Can you imagine living with that tension every day? Too bad it will be dark as we go by; probably won’t get a picture.

We just passed a 700′ freighter that has 100′ beam. This is a very big boat and the only one seen other than the CG Cutter Hamilton today.

Oh, PS.   We passed the routine safety inspection with flying colors and have the “gold” certificate to prove it.

4 Responses to “Geraldine leaves the Arctic”

  1. Chuck Single Says:

    9/1/08 I found you on the map this time, and found cape Lisbourne of yesterday. How can I get lost ? You are way ahead of where I expected you to be. I thought Kip was flying back at Barrow, clearly I misunderstood. I now presume kip will be flying from Nome sometime Monday (today) or Tuesday (tomorow (sp?)). You sem to be covering much more than 100 miles per day, or my map distorts the distances.

    I am pleased that it was not the Russian coast guard that intercepted you, and that you passed their safety test. What do they do with people who don’t pass ?

    I wan’t congratulate anyone of a successful voyage until Walt gets to California, but I must say that it seems like a remarkable accomplishment, Walt (Kip and crew), and that God has been with you so far. Why should he abandon you now ?

    June 20th to to Sept 1st is about 2months and two weeks, so the 3month target seems possible. I look at the Alaska Peniusla for the first “break” and see Port Muller, with a day or so to Anchorage. Walt, you could be there in a week !! or so.

    I follow your voyage at least a couple of times a week (every day recently) and do so apreciate the “blog (?)” set up by Randy (and Scott (?)). It has been SO convenient for all of us to track your successful progress.

    MUch Love.

  2. Trish Foley Says:

    We so appreciate being able to keep up with the Geraldine and her remarkable crew on a daily basis.. What an experience you guys have had!!! The ups and downs and everything in between… Pat, just want you to know that even though you won’t be home, we will be thinking of you on your 61st (shhhh… no one heard that) birthday on Sept. 6th,,, If we were a little closer to where you are, I would bring you a cake.. .sorry that will be a little difficult at this time… No matter what, I am sure you will spend an amazing day with your son and dear friends, enjoying sights that few have ever seen!!! We send our love, Trish
    PS.. have talked to Kathy weekly, she is anxious to have you home, I’m sure!!

  3. Bob & Linda Wingo Says:

    Hello Kip, Walt, and Crew!
    Sadly for us, we’ve only recently been checking on your progress and have read/heard about the trip’s early challenges. It sounds like you’ve perservered and God has blessed you for your tenacity, ingenuity, and faith in Him!

    As a family, earlier today we spent some time catching-up on your trip and viewing many of the spectacular photos from your journey – lots of oohs and aahs from the boys, especially the big icebergs and polar bears!

    I was on an Alaskan fishing trip a couple of weeks ago in Sitka (with Nate, 3 days on a charter boat and 1 day fly-fishing), so at least I can relate to some of the beauty you’ve seen and/or will see in that region. Yes, we are enjoying fresh caught salmon, ling cod, and halibut from my trip….success!

    Linda says hello, and we’ll pray for your safe and wonderful journey home!

    In Him,
    Bob & Linda

  4. Scott Jones Says:

    Glad you’ve enjoyed the site, Grandpa. It’s been really fun for us to both feel like a part of the crew from the home base while they’ve been in the ice! 🙂

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