Author Archive

Time of their (wild)life

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

(60º14.7′ N, 147º42.6′ W — Snug Harbor, Prince William Sound) I got a call from the crew today giving an update since leaving Seward. A few interesting notes on Seward, it is the first place they’ve been to since Labrador that you could drive to directly in your car. It is at the end of a fjord with beautiful mountains all around. Also, the harbor was full of mostly private sailboats which was a stark contrast to the oil and fishing boats that have dominated so far. There was a Safeway! They felt like for the first time they were actually back in America.

Today they traveled about 75 nautical miles in perfectly calm seas. Forecast for the next few days is similar, which has them excited. They’ve been seeing the first signs of fall—the scrub & moss above tree line on the mountains is changing to gold and red. Meanwhile they saw a handful of glaciers and were visited by Dahl Porpoises again. Scott and Raime were able to get to the nose of the boat and look down into the crystal clear water and see them swimming under the boat and playing in the bow wave! They also reported seeing a whale fin of unidentified variety and several black and white-footed albatross. In further wildlife sightings, they added mountain goats to the growing list. Eagle-eye Raime spotted them on a two foot wide ledge above a 500 foot cliff. As I was talking to them they saw a bald eagle nest and ran outside to get a better look.

They’ve been trying to eat up all the left-over provisions from the adventure. Tonight they had mini-thanksgiving dinner with a stuffed chicken (purchased and frozen since Halifax). In spite of being well traveled, the crew reports that the chicken was tasty. The apple pie came out of the oven and they promptly hung up on me!

I did get a tentative itinerary from them. Tonight they are at Snug Harbor on Knight Island in Prince William Sound (site of the Exxon Valdez leak). Next stops are Copper River tomorrow, Icy Bay on Monday, and Yakutat on Tuesday. Scott & Raime fly home from Yakutat on Wednesday. Then it is up to Kipper and ye Salty Dog Walter to bring the Geraldine the rest of the way down to Sitka. They should be there by the weekend and fly home. And none to soon, all this apple pie talk has me hungry!

Where is Sitka?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Will it ever end??? Tonight we were looking over the map and thinking: where is Sitka? Well it’s the lonely little red pin South and East where the boat is now. And yes: Kip, Walt, Scott and Raime should be in Sitka in a little over a week. (NOTE: Geraldine is NOT in Sitka)

Nearing Point Barrow

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

(71º0.2′ N, 151º40′ W) I just got off the phone with the crew after a very short call. They are about 84 miles from Barrow and expect to be there by morning. The seas have calmed down but it’s still foggy. The colored pictures show how beautiful the shades of grey are as the sun streams through. While the engine has been running smoothly, it recently has been resistant to coming back to idle. Sounds like a VW van I once owned. Anyhow, they’ll be working on it in the next few days. And really that was about the extent of it. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.

Nipped at Tuk

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

(69.4° N 133.0° W — Tuktoyaktuk, NWT) Editor’s Note: I got a satellite phonecall from the crew this afternoon. They were in the midst of an embarrassing “situation.” There are two entrances to the harbor at Tuk (Tuktoyaktuk), one for big boats, and one for small boats. The crew decided they were small, and paid for it by running aground just outside the harbor. During the call, a local was attempting to pull them off with his boat. It didn’t work. A Coast Guard boat in the area will swing by to pull them off in an hour or so. They will get into the harbor eventually, they will get to upload pictures, and they will get gas… er, diesel. They’ve been running in smooth, but shallow water for the last 36 hours—about 15 feet deep all day. Kip also reported the land is now covered with green grass. Very exciting to see color again! The water and air are both about 50ºF. Looking forward to seeing those photos!

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