Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Think again - Who are you going to call? Court rules that Coast Guard has no duty to rescue


The Coast Guard responded to 20,510 search and rescue cases and saved over 3,800 lives, according to the Coast Guard Snapshot 2012. From an Associated Press article posted in the Insurance Journal:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a North Carolina widow’s lawsuit blaming the Coast Guard for failing to save her husband’s life, saying the agency does not have a legal obligation to launch life-saving rescues.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled that Susan and Roger Turner suffered an accident in coastal waters on July 4, 2007, and it wasn’t because of Coast Guard negligence. The court ruled that federal law authorizes but does not impose a duty for the Coast Guard to launch rescue efforts. Read more...




Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Arctic Institute: The Future of Arctic Shipping: A New Silk Road?

http://issuu.com/thearcticinstitute/docs/the_future_of_arctic_shipping_-_a_n

The Arctic Institute: The Future of Arctic Shipping: A New Silk Road? 
Author: Malte Humpert 
November 2013 

 "Arctic shipping will remain of limited importance to China, as it will for the rest of the world. Future shipping in the Polar region will mostly consist of seasonal destinational transport, delivering supplies into the Arctic for its increasing economic activity and transporting the region's natural resources to markets in East Asia." 

Every time Arctic sea ice extent reaches a new record low, as it did in September 2012, a host of new reports and studies predict a rapid increase in shipping activities in the Arctic. Expectations are high that Arctic shipping routes, particularly the Northern Sea Route (NSR), will rival traditional shipping routes and complement the Suez Canal route as a key waterway forrade to and from Asia by the middle of this century. 


One of the drivers of Arctic shipping, as the logic goes, is China's rapidly growing interantional trade. As China aims to diversify its trade routes and reduce its dependence on trade passing through the Strait of Malacca, the Arctic offers an alternative and shorter route to conduct part of its trade. 

Full Text of Document



Saturday, November 23, 2013

The 100 year-old Canadian Arctic Expedition and Life in the North captured on two new Royal Canadian Mint circulation coins

 



A century after intrepid explorers set sail from Victoria, BC to study Canada's Western Arctic and deepen the world's understanding of life in the Canadian North, the Royal Canadian Mint has launched two 25-cent commemorative circulation coins to celebrate both the 100(th) anniversary of this historic expedition, as well as the cultures and traditions which continue to thrive in our Arctic regions. The coins were unveiled today in Victoria, BC and in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
"Canada's North is a fundamental part of our heritage and national identity and is vital to our future," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council. "Our Government encourages Canadians to take this unique opportunity to discover the North's history, culture and peoples by collecting the Royal Canadian Mint's new circulation coins commemorating the 100(th) anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition and celebrating the way of life still thriving across Canada's northern regions."
"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to circulate coins which give Canadians a new way to appreciate the people, places and events which have shaped Canada as we know it today," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "As one of the greatest adventures of the early 20(th) century, the Canadian Arctic Expedition sparked many discoveries about life in the North and we are pleased that our new circulation coins help Canadians learn even more about the Arctic's past and present, as well as its unique Aboriginal cultures."
As of today, a total of 25 million 25-cent commemorative circulations coins will begin circulating via the Mint's national coin distribution network. 12.5 million coins feature artist Bonnie Ross' illustration of explorers preparing to take their first north-bound steps into uncharted territory 100 years ago. Another 12.5 million coins celebrate "Life in the North" through the rich symbolism created by Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU artist Tim Pitsiulak.
Please see attached backgrounder for further information on these coins.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit. www.mint.ca
Images of the Mint's new commemorative circulation coins are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.
Backgrounder
2013 25-CENT CIRCULATION COINS:
"100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANADIAN ARCTIC EXPEDITION"
AND "LIFE IN THE NORTH"
One hundred years after Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden despatched explorers and researchers on an ambitious mission to map the Canada's Western Arctic and study its peoples, wildlife and geology, the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate the centennial of the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition as well as the cultures and traditions which continue to thrive across the North today.
This historic expedition was led by ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson and zoologist Rudolph Anderson, whose teams split into a Northern Party, headed by Stefansson to undertake the bulk of the mapping exercise, while Anderson's Southern Party explored the geology, flora and fauna, and native inhabitants of the Arctic Mainland. After travelling thousands of kilometres by sea, the Northern Party studied new islands and charted land which even local inhabitants had never seen. The Southern Party compiled 14 volumes of scientific data and gathered thousands of natural specimens and cultural artifacts, which for the first time opened the eyes of the world to the culture and way of life linking the aboriginal peoples of the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Alaska and Siberia.
The Expedition's artifacts, photos, and recordings have formed the basis of numerous educational programs and museum exhibits and remain important pillars of the permanent National collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
The 2013 25-cent circulation commemorating 100 year-old Canadian Arctic Expedition was designed by artist Bonnie Ross. The reverse of this 1913-2013 dated coin shows three explorers posing before a fully-packed dog sled as they prepare to take their first northward steps into uncharted territory. The background of this scene is filled with the details of a compass rose, pointing northwards to show their intended destination.
A celebration of the traditions and cultures which still endure in today's North are found in a 25-cent circulation coin designed by Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU artist Tim Pitsiulak. His richly symbolic vision is rendered in classic Inuit art style to represent "Life in the North" as seen by its inhabitants. The central design feature of this coin are a pair of Beluga whales and a Bowhead whale; common to Arctic waters and vitally important to the Inuit way of life.
The Bowhead whale on this coin has been transformed into a canvas displaying multiple facets of Inuit culture and history. A large Dorset Culture ivory mask on the dorsal part of the bowhead whale and smaller depictions on its lower jaw represent the Tuniit (paleo-Eskimos) which migrated from Siberia across the Bering Straight into North America. An amauti design on the tail represents hooded clothing worn by Inuit women, while an igloo pattern adorns its mid-section and the Thule ivory comb on its head symbolizes Inuit expansion across Canada. This scene is encircled by the silhouette of a breaching whale being pursued by a traditional whaling boat and kayaks along the coin's rim.
12.5 million examples of each theme will enter general circulation as of November 22, 2013. Each will be available in two combinations of frosted accents in mintages of 6.25 million coins for each frosting version. All 25 million coins in this commemorative program also feature the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt on their obverse.
Canadians can start looking for these new coins in their change, attend coin exchanges at special events in select locations across Canada, as well as at the Mint's Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques, or obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at www.mint.ca/arctic (limited to Canada only). While supplies last, a free collector card will shipped to each household participating in the online coin exchange.
Canadian Arctic Expedition collector coins also available
Tim Pitsiulak's "Life in the North" design can also be found on a $3 Fine Silver collector coin with contrasting frosted finishes. This precious metal collectible is limited to a mintage of 10,000 coins world-wide and retails for $34.95 CAD.
Bonnie Ross' Canadian Arctic Expedition design also appears throughout the family of 2013 Silver Dollar products, which includes the Proof and Brilliant Silver Dollars, as well as the 2013 Fine Silver Proof Set and Specimen Proof Set. A different Bonnie Ross artwork honouring the 100(th) anniversary of the expedition is also found on the 2013 $100 gold coin. Details on all these products are available at www.mint.ca.
SOURCE Royal Canadian Mint

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sprague Theobald Interview - M/V BAGAN (2009 E-W NW Passage)

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/interview/sprague-theobald-interview

Sprague Theobald Interview


Independent Filmmaker

Writer and filmmaker Sprague Theobald has released his documentary, The Other Side of the Ice, which shows his transit of the Northwest Passage from Newport, Rhode Island, to Seattle, Washington, on his Nordhavn 57 Bagan in the summer of 2009. The film captures scenes of haunting beauty as the boat passes through a remarkably desolate part of the world. But another voyage happens along the way, as Theobald reunites with his grown stepchildren and his son on the boat more than a dozen years after a nasty divorce. We caught up with him late last year as he was setting the release schedule for the film.

Power & Motoryacht: What’s going on with The Other Side of the Ice?

Sprague Theobald
Sprague Theobald: The film was finished about a month ago. It took far longer [than expected], but because there was no pressing schedule I didn’t rush it. I worked with some editors for the first time, so I didn’t edit. I had some really, really talented guys—I just stood back and let them do their work. What they made from it is just nothing short of brilliant. I can say this without any ego involved, because I wasn’t the one calling the shots really, but it’s turned into this incredible multilayered story of adventure, climate, beautiful photography, and then the story of family coming back together which just absolutely unrolled so wonderfully in the piece.
Power & Motoryacht: Sounds like the result surprised you.

Sprague Theobald: It really has. When I wrote the book I knew the story was there. But when we were on the trip, we had five cameras and I encouraged the kids when it got tough, when it got lonely, when it got isolated, to take the camera and talk to it. And I wasn’t going to look at any of the footage until the trip was over, they could say whatever they wanted. And as the trip progressed and got harder and harder and we slipped into darker and darker mental states, what the kids talked about on camera was just incredibly exhilarating. There was no Oh woe is me or I don’t know if I can do this. The level of thinking and then the appreciation for each other and the appreciation for the trip—they started to bring up issues on camera unbeknownst to me. When I got back and started looking at the footage I just saw this huge group feeling from the family split 12 years earlier, and each one of them were addressing it without me asking them to.
Power & Motoryacht: Literally you couldn’t have scripted that better.

Sprague Theobald: Last spring I flew the kids to New York and we hung out for a few days. We hadn’t seen each other a whole lot, and I got them all together at once, and we did some post-trip interviews, in which they could look back and comment on the trip and how their lives and how their family has changed. And again, it’s a huge eye-opener. I wish I could take credit for this tremendous feeling that happened. On the trip we didn’t have time to [bring up old grievances] and say “Hey, remember that time you said…” because the trip was so hard, that was all trivial. We were in the trenches together and we learned to rely on each other and the love started to come up from that reliance and dependence.
Power & Motoryacht: Does the voyage ever stop evolving in your mind?

Sprague Theobald: No it doesn’t. Since the day we landed, I work or deal with the trip in one aspect or another every single day. It’s not just the basic scenes and footage that I didn’t know existed or that I forgot that brings it all back for me. It’s constantly changing. I’m seeing new angles on myself—I’ve changed so much. All of us changed so much from the trip. It’s just such a point of reference now. There are times somebody says something and then they ask ‘Have you ever felt like that?’ And I find myself answering, ‘Yeah, when I was up in the Arctic….’ It changed all of our lives.

The Other Side of the Ice will have a weeklong engagement at the Quad Cinema in New York City beginning on March 8, or may appear at a film festival near you soon. For an updated schedule of screenings, please check out www.spraguetheobald.com.

Click here to see a video teaser of The Other Side of the Ice ➤

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book sheds light on ship lost in Franklin expedition search


Full article here:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/books/Book+sheds+light+ship+lost+Franklin+expedition/9162105/story.html

While the long-running search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships Terror and Erebus continues after nearly 170 years of mystery and frustration, a new book celebrating Parks Canada’s 2010 discovery of the sunken HMS Investigator details how the stunning Arctic find took place mere moments after the hunt officially began. The Investigator was one of dozens of Royal Navy vessels sent to look for the missing Franklin Expedition in the 1850s.

Underwater archeologist Ryan Harris, part of the team that achieved the feat three years ago in Mercy Bay off Banks Island, N.W.T., first glimpsed the wreck on a shipboard computer screen “just three minutes after they deployed the sonar,” the book reveals. “It was a suspicious feature on the sea floor, something that stood out from the muddy bottom.”

That “something” was a genuine piece of Canadian history, no matter how fast it was found — a triumph duly recognized when the discovery was named one of the world’s top ten archeology stories of 2010. While the Investigator, like every other ship sent to find Franklin, failed in that mission, its captain and crew ultimately found the last link in the fabled Northwest Passage and helped establish British sovereignty over vast stretches of Arctic terra incognita that would, in 1880, be ceded to Canada.

After an epic 1850 voyage from a U.K. dockyard to the far northwest corner of North America, the ship became locked in ice at Mercy Bay and was finally crushed and sank sometime after April 1854, the last time it was seen afloat by British eyes.

And despite the unexpected ease with which Investigator was located at the bottom of the bay in 2010, the richly illustrated volume to be launched next week in Ottawa makes clear that a host of other discoveries are still to come — in scientific labs, in various British archives and at the wreck site itself.

Among the many legacies of the vessel was its impact on the lives of Inuit peoples in the region, whose use of metal and other items from Investigator supply caches significantly influenced life in their communities.

“We’ve only scratched the surface of HMS Investigator,” Harris said in an interview, noting how only 16 artifacts have so far been raised from the ship while “thousands or even hundreds of thousands” of objects remain entombed in silt, and almost certainly in good condition, in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean.

“You can only imagine what is preserved deep inside the bowels of the ship,” said Harris, listing historical treasures such as botanical and zoological specimens collected by ship scientists, journals and letters kept by sailors, and the well-aged contents of the “spirit locker.”

“We’re very eager,” said Harris, “to make a return visit to the site of the HMS Investigator,” which he describes as the archeological equivalent of a “small floating town” from Victorian-era Britain, and the world’s “singular example of a mid-19th-century Royal Navy polar exploration vessel.”

But intriguing finds have already been made, as detailed in the newly published book — Lost Beneath the Ice: The Story of HMS Investigator — written by Ottawa Citizen columnist and Carleton University professor Andrew Cohen and illustrated with rare historical images and dozens of Parks Canada photographs documenting the successful 2010 search, a series of dives in 2011 and the rescued relics.

Among the highlights are a sailor’s leather shoe and a Victorian-era rifle that might have been used for hunting game after the Investigator became irretrievably frozen in the Arctic ice. But other items recorded or retrieved during the 2011 dive season include a vintage bilge pump and a wooden “horn cleat” — a fixture used for securing rope on a ship’s deck — that testing at an Ottawa lab has shown was made from an exotic, tropical species, the jabillo tree.

That likely means, archeologists have surmised, that the object was carved during ship repairs in Hawaii, a tangible reminder of Investigator’s brief but adventurous life — including a May 1850 storm that badly damaged and nearly sank the ship off the South American coast — before reaching its Arctic endgame.

The Mercy Bay ice refused to release Investigator through three straight winters, and the gathering sense of desperation of Capt. Robert McClure and his crewmen is vividly recaptured in Cohen’s narrative.

The winter of 1852-53 “was a horror,” he writes. “The temperature plunged to -65 degrees Fahrenheit (-54C), the lowest ever recorded by any expedition. The daily ration had been reduced again, and the men were down to one meal a day. Some were found rifling through the previous winter’s garbage heap. Many were weak with scurvy.”

Rescue came on April 6, 1853, with the arrival — on foot over frozen ice — of a Lt. Pim of the Resolute, wintering but not permanently trapped at a nearby island. McClure and his men would trek the distance and eventually return home to Britain in October 1854.

rleighboswell@gmail.com
© Copyright (c) Postmedia News


Assessing Super Typhoon Haiyan’s Winds - Alaskan waters deserve extreme caution by NWP vessels



In the absence of direct wind speed measurements, one of the common methods used to estimate the intensity of tropical cyclones is the Dvorak technique. Developed four decades ago by American meteorologist Vernon Dvorak, the technique estimates maximum wind speeds by analyzing subtle differences in visible and infrared satellite imagery. However, the Dvorak method does not directly measure a storm’s winds, and some meteorologists think it overestimates maximum wind speed in some circumstances.

Since meteorological organizations do not send hurricane hunter aircraft to monitor typhoons and cyclones in the Pacific—and few ground instruments survived the storm—the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and other groups had to rely heavily on the Dvorak method to estimate wind speeds for Super Typhoon Haiyan. As meteorologist Eric Holthaus pointed out, the storm even maxed out the Dvorak scale, scoring an 8.0 on an 8.0 scale as Haiyan approached the Philippines on November 7.

Scatterometers, a type of microwave radar, can also measure the strength of a storm’s winds. The dual-beam rotating scatterometer on the Indian Space Research Organization’s Oceansat-2 satellite, for instance, can be used to measure the strength of the winds at the ocean surface. On November 7, 2013, Oceansat-2 measured Haiyan’s surface winds at 9:30 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m. PST), as shown in the image above. Arrows indicate wind direction and colors indicate wind speed, with darker shades of purple indicating stronger winds. (The strongest are red.) As is typical of cyclones in the northern hemisphere, the area of strongest winds was northeast of the storm center.

According to the Oceansat-2 data, which was processed by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) using an experimental technique, the storm’s winds peaked at 206 kilometers (128 miles) per hour at the time of measurement—strong enough to devastate the landscape.

However, it is important to note that the maximum winds were likely stronger than what Oceansat-2 measured, explained Bryan Stiles of JPL. His group’s algorithm averages Oceansat-2 data over a 24 by 24 kilometer (15 by 15 mile) area, which yields a value somewhat lower than the storm’s absolute maximum winds. Stiles estimated that the maximum wind speeds were probably about 20 percent faster—about 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour—when Oceansat-2 acquired the data, but his team has not yet had time to perform a rigorous analysis.

“The resolution of scatterometers is usually around 15 to 30 miles (25 to 50 kilometers), so they are not capable of resolving a storm’s maximum winds,” explained University of Miami meteorologist Brian McNoldy. “They work on the principle of wind roughening the ocean’s surface. So, in a sense, they don’t really measure the wind in a tropical cyclone. What they do is detect differences in how radiation is scattered off the ocean surface, and then a complex model is used to back out what wind speed would be responsible for that amount of roughness.”

“The bottom line is that meteorologists are going to be debating what Haiyan’s top wind speeds were for some time,” said Jeffrey Halverson, a meteorologist at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. “The best we can do is point to the strengths and shortcomings of each piece of technology or technique that we use to estimate winds—be it Dvorak, a scatterometer, or a barometer. Since we lack reliable in situ measurement for Haiyan, we have to use wide error bars.”

Further Reading:

NASA Earth Observatory (2012, October 28) Comparing the Winds of Sandy and Katrina. 



NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2013, November 8) NASA Peers Into One of Earth’s Strongest Storms Ever. 

New Republic (2013, November 11) How Strong is Super Typhoon Haiyan? 



Data courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Indian Space Research Organization’s Oceansat-2mission. Caption by Adam Voiland, with information from Alexander Fore, Brian McNoldy, Jeffrey Halverson, andBryan Stiles.

Instrument: OceanSat-2 - OSCAT

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=82375&src=eoa-iotd

After months underway on an east to west Northwest Passage you cross the Bering Sea Arctic Circle finish line and go into Nome Alaska exhausted... you think it is over... but it really it is just beginning... Nome does not have good facilities for haul-out nor storing your yacht in the Alaskan subzero weather... you must continue on south to a warmer climate as fast as possible... winter is approaching... you face another 1,000 nautical miles through the Bering Sea to turn the corner at Unimak Pass for King Cover on the Alaska Peninsula in the North Pacific Ocean with over 1500 miles to Washington State... but the good summer weather is now over... it is Fall and the STORMS and TYPHOONS are rolling east across the North Pacific Ocean... its time to really respect the weather and make even better decisions on planning a route - be it: a Gulf of Alaska coastwise route then the S.E. Alaska Inside Passage with many protected harbors (recommended) or across open waters to Dixon Entrance or the great circle direct route to the Straits of San Juan de Fuca into Victoria B.C. Canada or to Seattle Washington USA. Judging weather windows will be key to making a good decision or what could turn out to be an extremely poor decision.  

The Northwest Passage was a monumental challenge but the last two thousand nautical miles might prove to be the biggest trial of your sailing history... or you could turn them into the most rewarding passage of your life... Alaska has it all... how you choose to experience it will determine if it becomes a rewarding memory or the darkest night filled with terror... 





Sunday, November 10, 2013

M/V BAGAN's 2009 Northwest Passage provided the basis for a 2013 Emmy for Sprague Theobald


Now that I've come back down to earth... a HUGE thanks to Misha Spivack, Hunter Steinman, Josh Allen, Ulli Bonnekamp, Sefton Theobald, Dominique Tanton, Chauncey Tanton and Greg DeAscentis!! You all ARE the heart & soul of this film!! (Having said that I'm sure I forgot someone...)

I have no adequate words of gratitude... Tonight THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE won its Emmy Award!!! Such deep thanks to all of you! Much more later...



DOCUMENTARY - TOPICAL

The Other Side Of The Ice

KTXS - Sprague Theobald, Producer



Storyline

In 2009, Sprague Theobald and his family set sail for the infamous Northwest Passage, the Arctic sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. Since 1906 a staggering number have died trying. From Newport, RI, through the Arctic, down to Seattle, it would be a five month, 8500 mile trek filled with deadly danger from ice, predators, personal conflict and severe weather. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a divorce fifteen years earlier, the family embarked with untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts. Mother Nature's fury, and personality clashes threatened to tear the crew apart. The Other Side of the Ice a film of survival, adventure and ultimately redemption. ~ 'The Other Side of The Ice' was an official selection at the Virginia Film Festival... and now has been awarded an Emmy!

Website: http://www.northwestpassagefilm.com/
Website: http://spraguetheobald.com/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/id607607125
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Other-Side-Ice-Treacherous/dp/1616086238
Video teaser url: http://youtu.be/2VaTpSPNreM

http://www.writeintoprint.com/2013/10/sprague-theobald-other-side-of-ice-and.html

Sprague Theobald ~ The Other Side of the Ice (and beyond...)

At over three thousand miles, the trip from New York to Seattle is arduous by air, daunting by rail or coach, and downright exhausting as a road trip – but Emmy winning documentary maker and author Sprague Theobald is made of far sterner stuff than the average traveler.
Following a random discussion at a dinner party in 2007, Sprague decided he’d like to try the scenic route. And you don’t get more scenic (or exciting and dangerous) than taking the Northwest Passage option.



Largely uncharted, volatile and frozen for most of the year, the Northwest Passage has been the holy grail of shipping companies for hundreds of years: this potential short cut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans would benefit shipping companies more than the Panama Canal – but it remains wild and untamable, a fickle and gelid mistress inhabited by towering icebergs, crushing ice floes, treacherous, uncharted shoals – and if that were not enough, hungry polar bears that love humans in a different way than a philanthropist does... The weather is not the most clement either: changeable and stormy, with blankets of fog that reduce visibility to a few yards – which is not the best way to navigate a fiberglass hull between boulders of ice as the surface of the sea is freezing around you.


The 8,000 mile detour, which took a further two years to plan and more or less everything Sprague possessed, was just as much a voyage of discovery as it was a documentary-adventure – it would give him and his grown-up children the opportunity to reunite and bridge the gaps in time and distance that inevitably followed when he and his ex-wife dissolved their marriage. You can preview Sprague’s novel The Other Side of the Ice and read much more about the fascinating journey by visiting SpragueTheobald.com or watch the candid fly-on-the-wall documentary of the adventureHERE.

Bagan

Sprague has kindly agreed to answer some of my random questions about sailing, life, the universe, and everything (in no particular order):


As captain of the Bagan, and with a crew comprising your children and close friends, you must have felt a higher than average sense of responsibility for them. What was your darkest hour in this regard?

Although they were all grown adults, having my son and two stepchildren aboard brought and element of concern and safety that played out in the worst of all possible ways during the two days we were stuck in the ice. The Canadian Ice forecast had indicated and opening trend in the ice flow in Peel Sound. Being a forecast, it was wrong and led us right into an ice trap. We became firmly stuck in the ice, couldn’t move an inch backward or forward, slowly being pushed toward a rocky coastline. One thought kept going through my mind, “Have I brought my family together only to lead them to their deaths?” Not something a father ever needs to ponder.


Your daughter Dominique played a big part in forward-planning and logistics. She also took on handling any medical emergencies by training under a doctor prior to the voyage – did she ever get to try out any of her newfound healing skills?

During that five month period, time and again it played out that we were being watched over by some very benevolent and protective entity! I’m happy to report that although Dominique learned how to handle just about any medical emergency, we never so much as broke out a Band-Aid!


Catering for hungry diners can be difficult under easy conditions. Now you’re older and wiser – on a future expedition – what main course would you serve up to your crew that would lead to clean plates all round?

Nothing, absolutely nothing beats the basic hamburger! Vegetarians not withstanding, every time Dominique thawed some burger meat and started preparing it, the galley was constantly filled with admirers!


What item do you wish you’d taken with you on the 150-day voyage?

Because of the global financial disaster in 2008, months prior to departure for the Arctic I lost every penny of my funding. Needless to say that, unless it was safety equipment, at times I couldn’t buy the best of the best. Having said that, I wish I’d bought the top of the line satellite equipment. Our needed phone conversations and the ability to upload articles and pictures was very frustrating in that 40% of the time we could get a signal and at that perhaps 50% of the time we could keep the connection.


What item do you wish you hadn’t taken?

Our captain…


When the going got really tough, your crew responded in stoic unison as they faced the greatest challenges. This must have made you proud of them and impressed with their growing and associated strengths?

It was the same for all three of my children; I got the chance to see them grow up. By that I mean I was able to see them reach into some very dark and powerful places, asses the situation and come out of it determined to survive. My son Sefton and I were very close before the trip, my stepchildren, Dominique and Chauncey less so. By the time the trip ended we had seen each other into some very scary and perhaps terrifying situations, stood by one another and came out all the closer. I saw them react and take on horribly complicated and demanding scenarios, all the while not asking for help. I feel that each child reached a new “level” in life, a deeper understanding of not only it but themselves that “normal” life would never have afforded them the opportunity to do so. It was ironic – for the “professional” that I hired simply fell by the wayside; when the going got rough he buckled and collapsed mentally, physically & spiritually.


What is your favorite camera shot taken during the expedition?

Hands down my most favorite shot was taken by Sefton and Chauncey. We were in a remote anchorage while in Greenland and they had hiked inland a few miles to snowboard a small glacier. They took the chance to set the camera down, running, about half a mile away from the glacier. What came from this was one of the most beautiful and haunting shots of two tiny figures snowboarding on a very large and remote glacier. Perhaps the first in history to do so?





How did the reality of the trip compare to your expectations prior to the adventure?

The pressures of the trip; financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually were more demanding than I could have ever dreamt they would be. There was no way one could prepare for the tremendous depths mine and all of our minds tumbled into. So deep and powerful were they that I never used the set of noise-cancelling headphones I had aboard to listen to music. I feared that if I allowed the music to take me and my troubles “away”, when the music stopped I’d never be able to come back to reality. So fragile was my mind. Trying to function within this fragility and make sure that all regarded me and my leadership as “all’s normal” was a constant balance and I hope that I was presenting a convincingly brave front!!


So what’s your next great adventure going to be, or have you hung up your gloves for the time being?

When the trip ended I vowed to those who love me that I would never play out of the backyard again. However... I’ve had my eye on kayaking the length of the Connecticut River from Canada to the Atlantic. I’d like to do a film and again, a book on the history that I find. That takes money though, which I don’t have right now. I’m currently rewriting a piece of fiction I wrote years back. I’ve also been approached about doing an autobiography but don’t know if I feel I have that much to offer... yet.

Good luck with that, Sprague and thanks for taking time to share your experiences.

Readers: for much more about this fascinating trip, visit Sprague’s website.




 The Passage



The New Yorker On the Town - News, Promotions, and Events From New Yorker Advertisers
Image of Iceberg
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE
Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker and author Sprague Theobald has written a new book and created a documentary film called The Other Side of The Ice—a true story of survival, offering a glimpse into the treacherous 8,500-mile journey from Newport, Rhode Island through the Northwest Passage.
HOLE IN THE WALL FILM & VIDEO PRODUCTIONSThe five-month adventure takes on even deeper meaning as Theobald’s grown son and stepchildren decide to join in unexpectedly as crew, after years of separation and estrangement.
The film version of The Other Side of The Ice has just been nominated for an Emmy.
Image of Sprague on a Boat in a Field of Ice
This e-mail was sent to you by The New Yorker Advertising Promotion Department.
To insure delivery to your inbox (not bulk or junk folders), please add our e-mail address,
thenewyorker@email.newyorker.com, to your address book.
Privacy Administrator
Condé Nast
1313 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
To view our privacy policy, click here.
To change your e-mail address, click here.
If you wish to be removed from the New Yorker e-mail list, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.

2000 Miles of Untamed Mother Nature


Sitka Alaska named 'walk friendly' community

Video url: http://youtu.be/_VpIVYkoMnY
A southeast Alaska community has been named one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in America.
Sitka won the designation from the University of North Carolina's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. The center created the "walk friendly" award in 2010, to shine a lot on places making walking a lifestyle.
Participants in a 2012 Sitka health summit decided to apply for the designation to see how the city stacked up, from a pedestrian's perspective, KCAW reported (http://bit.ly/17ga3aO ).
Sitka received a report card that praised the percentage of residents who walk to work, which the Census Bureau put at more than 11 percent. The report card also noted Sitka's extensive trail system, slow downtown speed limits and low number of pedestrians involved in traffic accidents.
It's not easy to compare Sitka with other communities. The city receives about 86 inches of rain a year and almost half its incorporated area is under water.
"Most communities, you're talking a 30 or 40 square mile area," said Charles Bingham, who leads Walk Sitka, the group that applied for the designation on the city's behalf. "With us, we had to call in and say the city and borough of Sitka is 4,000 square miles!"
Forty-four U.S. cities have been deemed "walk friendly;" Sitka is the first in Alaska. Juneau listed as earning an honorable mention.
Information from: KCAW-FM, http://www.kcaw.org
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/11/10/3168295/sitka-named-walk-friendly-community.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WARNING FOR NEAR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS

Update 20131107-08



AWAK88 PAVW 070034
RWSAK

ALASKA WEATHER SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE VALDEZ AK
400 PM AKST WED NOV 6 2013

THE MOST POWERFUL STORM OF THE SEASON IS STEAMING NORTH ACROSS
THE BERING SEA...WITH A TIGHTLY WOUND FRONT WRAPPED AROUND THE
LOW PRESSURE CENTER OF VERY LOW PRESSURE FROM THE BACKSIDE OF THE 
STORM AROUND TO THE FRONT AND SOUTH OVER THE EASTERN ALEUTIANS INTO
THE NORTH PACIFIC. TO THE EAST OF THIS STORM A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE
EXTENDING FROM A HIGH CENTER OVER THE NORTH PACIFIC NORTH OVER THE
INTERIOR OF ALASKA TO ANOTHER CENTER OF HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE
CENTRAL BEAUFORD SEA COAST. A WEAKENING FRONT STRETCHED FROM THE
NORTHERN SLOPES OF THE ALASKA RANGE EASTWARD INTO THE YUKON
TERRITORIES OF CANADA. A WEAK AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WAS LOCATED
OFFSHORE OF SITKA WITH A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE EXTENDING SOUTH
ALONG THE COASTAL ARCHIPELAGO.

SCATTERED RAIN AND SNOW WAS FOUND OVER THE ALEUTIANS WITH SNOW 
REPORTED AT SHEMYA...LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN AT DUTCH HARBOR AND 
HEAVY RAIN AT COLD BAY. LIGHT RAIN WAS SEEN OVER THE PRIBILOF ISLANDS
AT SAINT PAUL WITH LIGHT SNOW OBSERVED ALONG THE BERING SEA COAST
FROM CAPE NEWENHAM TO KIPNUK TO SCAMMON BAY AND BLOWING SNOW AT
KOTZEBUE. ALONG THE BEAUFORD SEA COAST LIGHT SNOW WAS OBSERVED AT
BARTER ISLAND AND DENSE FOG AT NUIQSUT. LIGHT SNOW WAS REPORTED 
OVER PARTS OF THE INTERIOR AT GALENA...BIG DELTA AND EAGLE WITH SNOW
SHOWERS IN THE FAIRBANKS VICINITY. HIGH PRESSURE OVER MOST OF THE 
INTERIOR RESULTED IN MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES AND DRY CONDITIONS FROM  
MCKINLEY PARK TO SOUTH CENTRAL ALASKA AND EAST TO THE COPPER RIVER 
BASIN. THE SOUTHEAST PANHANDLE HAD CLOUDY AND WET CONDITIONS WITH
FAIRLY WIDESPREAD RAIN FROM HOONAH AND JUNEAU TO SITKA...KLAWOCK...
PETERSBURG AND WRANGELL.

NEAR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS BATTERED SHEMYA DURING THE EARLY MORNING 
HOURS WITH WINDS GUSTING TO 69 MPH AND ATKA EXPERIENCING WINDS OF 54
MPH. STRONG WINDS WERE WIDESPREAD ACROSS THE ALEUTIANS...THE
PRIBILOFS AND THE BERING SEA COAST WITH WINDS OF 71 MPH AT SAINT
GEORGE AND AT SAINT PAUL...58 MPH AT SAVOONGA ON SAINT LAWRENCE
ISLAND...55 MPH AT UNALASKA...52 MPH AT COLD BAY AND FREQUENT GUSTS
OVER 50 MPH ALONG THE BERING SEA COAST WITH 68 MPH AT HOOPER BAY.
STRONG WINDS IN EXCESS OF 30 MPH WERE COMMON TO THE NORTH ACROSS
NORTON SOUND AND THE SEWARD PENINSULA. UNRELATED TO THE STORM OVER
THE BERING SEA...BRISK WINDS WERE SEEN OVER PARTS OF PRINCE WILLIAM
SOUND WITH THE OUTFLOW FROM THE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE OVER THE
INTERIOR WITH WINDS GUSTING NEAR 40 MPH AROUND VALDEZ AND WINDS OF
47 MPH AT WHITTIER AND OUT OF THE PASSES ALONG THE COASTAL CHUGACH
RANGE.

HIGH TEMPERATURES AROUND THE GREAT LAND THIS AFTERNOON RANGED FROM
THE SINGLE DIGITS BELOW ZERO ALONG THE NORTH COAST FROM WAINWRIGHT TO
DEADHORSE AND ON ANAKTUVUK PASS...WITH OTHER PARTS OF THE NORTHWEST
AND NORTH SLOPES GETTING UP TO THE LOW 30S. OVER THE INTERIOR HIGHS
WERE BETWEEN 1 ABOVE IN ARCTIC VILLAGE TO 20 AT EAGLE. ACROSS THE
WEST AND ALEUTIANS HIGHS WERE FROM 10 IN ANVIK UP TO THE LOW 50S...
WITH SAND POINT AT 46...DUTCH HARBOR AT 47 AND COLD BAY AT 51. HIGHS
AROUND THE SOUTHCENTRAL WERE IN THE TEENS TO LOW 40S...WITH LOW 30S
ACROSS THE ANCHORAGE BOWL. FOR THE SOUTHEAST PANHANDLE TEMPERATURES
WERE ALL IN THE 40S AT 3 PM...WITH JUNEAU AT 40...WHILE ANNETTE
ISLAND HIT 51 EARLIER IN THE AFTERNOON.

$$
MB/SE

Monday, November 4, 2013

Video by S/V LA BELLE EPOQUE - Nordwest Passage 2013

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page."
– Saint Augustine


ideo url: http://youtu.be/Qu9Qsh_3N1k
Website: http://www.fortgeblasen.at



More of Jurgen and Claudia Kirchberger's cruising story...

Bering Sea!


LA BELLE EPOQUE leisurely drives through the dusk, while on board everything is still quiet. I sit in the wheelhouse and I appreciate the many lights around us, slowly fading into the gray morning light becomes brighter. How long ago was it that we are called at a busy port? Just being long, dark night seemed almost like a new miracle, even if it is still quite a long time and slowly walked into the dark realm of the memories of the arctic day. This makes me a bit wistful thought but still, I have so much enjoyed the eternal light of the Arctic tags and experienced life without sunrise and set free from time and clock.

But wait, now is actually no time for melancholy. After all, the dangerous Bering Strait lies with its strong current behind us, the Northwest Passage is done and soon we run into our first port of Alaska. A port to which we are more than excited, after all, it is said: "There is no place like Nome!" After all, the city is famous for its roots in the gold rush, an era that is now awakened to new life in the Far North!

It does not take long, and the gray light of the morning sun has finally got some color and intensity. The harbor master is notified and is waiting at the pier to take us very warm welcome. We already go between the wild and headstrong "booting" the gold digger alongside and jump on land. But it does not go as fast in the Far North but then again, the border official has their hands full and can clear inward us in the evening. We need to spend the day on board! Do not worry. We wait until ISATIS us alongside and is cool to talk to champagne in the bilge. Today, there's something to celebrate!

Nome is unbelievable, torn between gold rush fortune seekers, failed lives and even some free spirits, alcoholics and well-paid professionals from the South staggers the city in a true wild west retro with one bar after another along the main road, rickety pick-up Trucks and rubber boots as a unit costume. Everything here revolves around gold and beer because there is gold in the sand to wash and beer can be bought with it. Even the laundry Saloon is integrated in a seedy bar.

The dream of wealth, however, the fewest dream, we can enlighten us. The motivations are different: a self-determined life without a boss or an escape from poverty to the south, the up-close experience of history or Knight of the fun of gambling. The success, however, not everyone brings: while a very good make ends meet and have decades of living of their gold income in the summer, living those who are less fortunate in huts made of driftwood on the beach and work on the return flight to the South before the onset To make the cold. Probably the best earnings beat apparently investors and large, South African diamond company out: they bought a long time ago, the reasons to Nome (and the seabed to Nome) and now get from any grains of gold, which is wrestling with mühlseliger work out of the sand their percentages.




And since the sand along the vast beach of Nome during the first phase of the gold rush in the early 20th Century was combed to the smallest granule, the modern Goldschürer have laid on the seabed: the most incredible dive boats, the ride goes from the beach to a few meters deep water, where by its own suction of sea sand is pumped into a small screening plant on the deck of the vehicle combination . A job that requires countless hours of diving in the icy water of the high latitudes. Gold dust stuck in the screen, while the greater part of the sand is transported again over the side with its increased weight. So this evening floating platforms bring a mix of golden sand on land which is separated into more washes and Siebarbeiten. In the end, wait for the work done for an ounce of gold, or almost 30 grams to U.S. $ 1100, depending on the current value of gold and purity of the final product.

For us, however, could still so beautiful shine to the gold time, we would not even attract half as much as the vegetable shelf in the local supermarket! And we are not disappointed: fresh grapefruit and sweet oranges from California smell a race that is so beloved by me Cesars Salad crisp as fresh from the field and a mix of zucchini and carrots, cucumbers and mini pumpkins, onion and peppers wander into my shopping basket. At the checkout we consider, however, but then if there is not a little gold are too hollow on the beach for us to have over 150 dollars for a basket full of fruits and vegetables and a box dougnuts!

Also, the port charges once let us swallow: $ 50 per day at the pier, without electricity or shower, of course! But what the heck, let's not put down roots here anyway and running again and again into the tourist office to suck the new weather maps from the internet. After all, we must not wait too long, the fall in the Bering Sea has already blown the first low-pressure systems at the start and we do well, as fast as possible to get out of this uncomfortable sea area!

But how easy it is not. A look at the weather maps allows us to fear and worry are: a storm with winds up to 11 Beaufort will let off steam in the coming days on the Bering Sea, beyond even wait again two new low pressure systems out whip with their power the lake. Ugh, if this continues, we will probably never get out of here!

The next day the weather maps to see but again quite different, instead of 11 Beaufort's now 10 and the lows of the cyclone track is located further south, while the second low should migrate to the north. This makes the decision any easier, however. After all, we can ausmahlen in our imagination that the weathermen of Alaska will again provide completely different predictions tomorrow. Where and how to pull the lows so seems a bit similar to the choice of the numbers on the roulette table!

Council of war on board LA BELLE EPOQUE. When elk soup (a friendly radio operator from Nome has brought us fresh Elchfleich as a gift), we sit with Jeanine and Jean Pierre of ISATIS together, go our ways through and decide tomorrow morning leak but the new weather maps should not even be worse. In the outlook Louis seems quite happy with his decision to stay in Nome-embark the ship. 's Us doing a bit sorry to separate us here, if we also look forward to the old togetherness on board a little. Also, I'm a little worried, because after all, Louis has been looking to no shelter for him and camping in the land of grizzly bears is probably not a good idea. Our friendly web-neighbor Bob rushes to help me: he has a bunk Louis is free and welcome aboard. For the evening, he invites us also to have smoked salmon and whiskey aboard his BERNARD EXPLORER.

Bob's story is sympathetic: Two of his ancestors operated a commercial boat in the Arctic, discovered places and wrote with her TEDDY BAER history. Many years ago they were donated in honor of Sachs Harbour in a plaque of wood, which was, however, fallen victim to a fire some time ago. Officially, it was thought, however, not at all long and hard to purchase a new board and transported in the High Arctic and the many solicitations from Bob and his family could not change that. Without hesitation, the family put together the money to have finished a new plaque. Bob bought a sailboat, christened there on BERNARD EXPLORER and set sail to bring the panel to the north. Unfortunately, this year's, heavy ice year read his plan did not succeed one hundred percent, because of the way to Banks Island Bob remained blocked by pack ice. He provided the board instead in from Bernard Harbour, looked to a part of the coast and sailed up to the "Smoking Hills" before he made his bow back to Nome. But he will try again at some point it will also allow the pack ice that the board is installed in its old place, of which Bob is easily convinced.

Early in the morning we say goodbye to Louis, a quick hug, a promise to see each other again and then he throws our cast off and waving to us. Still the weather is calm and gentle pulls the Genoa LA BELLE EPOQUE through the turbulent waters of Norton Sound. We unpack the farewell gift from Bob and look forward to the delicious smoked salmon! I have to laugh: the Arctic was so much, but it was not a treat for sure. Fermented beluga whale or seal dried, spoiled, or dried shark Icelandic, Norwegian reindeer heart were always a nuisance for me while trying to appear against our hosts not rude. How much seems to me to, of all people, the United States - the country FastFoot and the supposed lack of culture - as a gourmet country top league!

The Bering Sea is only going to hit soon enough on appetite: already a few hours after the end comes, the expected change in the weather and the lovely hours are over. We propose to Genoa from to make the tiny red Fock space, tie a reef after another in the Grand and check that all lockers are locked, is stowed and lashed everything Storm proof inside LA BELLE EPOQUE and the deck properly and is cleared up, so that no line can be washed into the water. Jürgen closes the valve of the exhaust, so no einsteigende wave can reach the engine, and I download the new weather maps. They show tonight we go!

Even the strong wind blowing at the start: 40 nodes are reached, Jean Pierre lets us know about radio and the lake has already begun to establish themselves. It's no surprise also, we have just about 20 feet of water under the keel! I'm a bit worried but already, after all, is before us an area of ​​8 to 15 feet deep water. Well hopefully we will see there is not a nasty shock!



The full moon shines through the clouds fields and lets the white foamy giant rays of the Bering Sea. LA BELLE EPOQUE But this hardly seems to bother, it runs by itself before the storm wind, chasing the waves before then, and shakes with pleasure sailing. However, on board the peace depends wrong: I would like to slow down, heave. Fear me too much before the shallow lake. Would like to seek protection from Nunivak Island and anchor until the weather allows the car. Jürgen however with the crew of a ISATIS opinion: press and weiterpreschen to try to reach the farther south Hagemeister Island to find there before the next storm protection. We are right but both: how the already wild waves will develop in the still shallow water, is hardly to predict and more dangerous, on the other hand offers Nunivak Island is not well enough protected anchorage for riding safely the rotating storm winds of the coming lows. However, I'm only reluctantly to answer his arguments and hold my concerns, but on top of that because the Hagemeister Island will not bring sufficient protection against reported strong wind from the east.

Fortunately, my concerns are not acknowledged by the swell: Although there is the angry Bering Sea the next day on the shoals further on, four to five meters steep lake runs after us, but LA BELLE EPOQUE works with flying colors in the wild lake and we do not run risk of capsizing, even as the old Schifferl repeatedly surfs with 18 knots over the green waters. In relation to the keel us loose ISATIS seems harder to work at sea: some breakers you get in the cockpit and a wave hitting the boat with such force that even means to break it.

When the strong wind one day later finally decreases, we do not come to rest. We need to reach every place the Hagemeister Island to find shelter from the coming storm. The reef fly out of the mainsail and the strong wind sailing migrate back into the Vorkoje, but also the engine must always help, which makes me agree even more sour, after the diesel to start is incredibly expensive and the engine in this country, just because ' s just can not go fast enough strikes on the mind!

However, we finally arrived behind the hilly, green island and I'm glad to be here, but the weather maps now show clearly that the coming storm will rage with 9-10 Beaufort about us. We still have time and can prepare well: we beat Fritz's little bow anchor in front of our Bruce with a few meters of chain on, dig the 50 meter replacement chain from the bilge and extend our anchor chain to the anchor rope new behind the now 90 meter chain to splice. Already I want to solve the old splice between albatrosses and the anchor chain, the color goes out of my face: two Kadelen the fourfold beaten Square Line are torn - we would have not still noticed we had lost our anchor gear with safety in coming storm ! I could slaps: how could we overlook it, never more closely examine our mooring after so many nights at anchor during the last four years, to break!

Lucky. The pity is quickly remedied by the splices I hawser from the other, still new here at the end of the new chain. Well, from now on the annual inspection of the entire ground tackle is one of the fixed work on board!

Soon we are moored behind the island. We can but for the time being notified Eastsoutheast not expect good protection. After all, the basic Anchor holds only moderately, and instead of a good bay we are on the open coast. But that does not matter, after all, the right storm comes only in one and a half days from the northwest, and we think the opposite mainland shore to find good protection. Thus, the night is also quite uncomfortable and sleep is to think not at first, we are going swinging wildly on anchor watch!

Eventually, the light comes back and also the southeast wind will calm down. Come up the anchor and we run out to find the best possible anchorage. But the pre-selected bay wants to pay me no feel pretty good. After all, here the unchecked lake and hit the Bering Sea beginning with only 2 to 3 feet of water under the keel, this is bad but dangerous. No, once again I am studying the chart and I'm already convinced that we will continue to find better protection behind a promontory on the east. There can hardly stormy sea arrive, the place is too far behind Hagemeiste island. Jürgen has not convinced take long and we turn off. ISATIS of our new plan, however, is not quite excited and looking rather be here a little further.



In the meantime, a tug with Light hits one after another in the Hagemeister street. They are also here seeking protection from the coming storm, lets us know the friendly captain. Where we intend to anchor, he wants to know and he soon confirmed my chosen course: "Tongue Point is definitely the best place for the coming wind here if you up there behind where the wreck of the small fishing boat lies on the beach, goes! , finds its excellent holding ground of sand with some mud., where we have anchored more often. There usually is not a significant swell in East wind, the countryside offers good protection., we can this time, however, moored not. We lack the right Fender to the warping tug alongside the barges. No, we will just drive here in the sheltered waters behind the island in the district in the coming days! "

Soon, Jean-Pierre reports on the radio. The two have listened to the radio interview and now want to try but the anchorage to the east. Is still a rough night ahead of us, because the wind will turn again to East. But our anchor hold excellent and more than uncomfortable is not. For the storm with 50 knot wind from the northwest on the following day we could not be better, however.

Sometime is this low pulled through and the new weather maps show: a high bring to its West flank two days north-west winds with 8 Beaufort, then one night diminishing winds and a few hours of light winds in the morning and a half-day West winds up to 20 knots until the next storm blows for kick off. "Oh, who would have thought that we will assess once 35 to 40 knot winds from astern as a weather window for the onward journey!" I moan then, but what helps it already, we do not want to get stuck here forever, at least in Hagemeister. Because after all those around shifty winds is quite clear - it's so cozy here again not!

No sooner are the weather maps analyzed, we also exchange our headsail out again: once the heavy small jib must do their work. Precaution shall Jürgen two reefs in the mainsail, reefing the third will follow tomorrow after departure. I cook from a few Krautfleckerl and make the boat once again all clear storm. Man I'm glad when we brought this crazy Bering Sea only behind us.

This time it is then still a little thicker than the last trip: to the reported 8 Beaufort come the poisonous local winds through the passing squalls so. Winds that nearly put themselves LA BELLE EPOQUE on their side and we repeatedly see the port side of the wheelhouse hatch dive into the green water. But still to LA BELLE shows unmoved, barely freed again from the inclined position, it shakes and sends the water over her side to perk up and running unabated in the south and defy the next gust of wind or wave.

Just like the weather forecast promised the wind decreases after two days and one night we turn in front of the entrance to False Pass - the passage between the Aleutian Islands in the Gulf of Alaska - in. Here you can not shrink and swell at night and what makes it already, one more night to wait until we know this ghastly waters in the wake!


Residential street in Nome



But ... not every gold rush in Nome gehts equally well: Barackensieldung on the beach.



Nome can experience the wild west again.



Because ... the bad economy after 9/11, to revive a new gold rush.



Main Street in Nome



Some crazy people in Nome: this poor reindeer anschienend must always travel with his Lord through the area.



With large and small companion, the seabed is ransacked for gold!



Gold Digger-timbered be "boats" of aluminum ladders, rubber sausages, generators and screens!



But ... it's also cheaper!



Who can not afford a boat, must be content just to work on the beach.



Live ... and a little cheaper, because the beach will bear not much!



Lie remained in Nome



Everywhere you can find relics of the first gold rush!



But it is time for us to cross the Bering Sea.



Steep, extremely short and high, more gibts on this wild sea hardly say!



Brief respite in the Bering Sea



However, the dawn has something!



And ... here we go again. Move from Hagemeister Island to False Pass! (Sorry, I can do no waves at the non wackeltes picture!)



Managed. We have achieved False Pass. Before us now is the Alaska of our dreams!