The North Slope of Alaska
The North Slope of Alaska
After spending a day in Tuktoyaktuk we left at 6:00 a.m. to start the trek to Barrow, AK. “Tuk” was a small village peopled with again, some of the friendliest and accommodating folks we’ve had a chance to meet on the trip. While the landscape was still fairly flat and rock-bound we did start to notice that the greenery was becoming more in evidence. Now there was actual color to be seen in the groundcover. We stretched our legs, Dom hit the Northern store for some more supplies and I think we all at one point or another took some time to reflect on the event of the day before. The emails I’ve received from people congratulating the crew of Bagan for a successful transit of The Passage have been staggering; many, many thanks to all of you and trust me when I say we could feel you behind us, urging us on!
This morning when I came onto watch I was greeted by this view (see attached picture) off to our port. That’s the North Slope of Alaska. After more than two months of traveling it’s an incredible feeling to be back in the U.S. We still have a very long way to go and a lot of potentially big weather, but for now it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that we’re in home waters.
File this under: Mother Nature Always Has The Final Word. Last night at around 8:30 Chaunce came into my cabin to get something and very casually said, “Ice ahead.” I have to admit that I partially thought this was a well aimed joke but when I got up to the pilothouse, indeed there was ice and lots of it. We’d found the southern end of the large artic ice and were skirting along in what turned out to be less than 2/10ths coverage. The “bits” were car or bus sized, and very blue meaning they were very old… and hard. The on-watch crew got though with very little effort and it wasn’t four hours later when the next watch came into more. With Greg and Clinton in the pilothouse, Chaunce and Sefton took to the bow with spot lights (we now have four or five hours of night which is the last thing we need for maneuvering through ice packs). All worked out well but sheet ice is something that none of us have any need to ever see again on this trip.
We plan to be in Barrow late Thursday or early Friday but have our eyes on a low pressures system which is going to bring some strong wind to the area. We’re picked a nice hoe to hide in if it gets to us before we get there, so Thursday and Friday may be more Saturday or Sunday.
Sign-up for news and announcements from Hole in the Wall Productions.