Saturday, 12 July 2008

Mea Culpa

Pics - it's musk ox hair - soft, warm and valuable and you can find it all over the tundra.

If you are planning to sail into the US, you must

  • have a visa. You cannot enter via the Visa waiver scheme
  • apply for a cruising permit which authorizes you to enter US ports and harbours without paying taxes and dues
  • report your arrival and departure to US Customs and Border Protection immediately you enter and leave each port.

I got the first two right but took a rather too casual approach to the third when we got to Nome, thinking that we could report at our convenience. Not so, and I got into trouble for failing to report on arrival.

The equation develops: we are still in Nome. Barrow icebound and the wind and sea are not the best for sailing north for the next few days. We are looking at Monday as the first possibility – that should get us to Barrow in 4 or 5 days if there is no intervening ice. Last year, Barrow opened on July 20th, (I had been told it was completely open by the 14th) so it's getting tight. If we can get past Point Barrow, we need a southerly wind to keep the ice offshore and allow us to get across to Canada. Point Barrow to Devon Island is about 2000 miles, so an absolute minimum of 20 days.  Perhaps 14 days to Cambridge Bay on the way, so we will definitely miss the eclipse. A pity, but patience and wisdom are the way to go – we'll take things as they come.

Devon Island to the Atlantic is about another 1500 miles – so some time in September, all going well. Then we will decide which way to go – across to the UK or south to the east coast of the US.

Pat and Sue's daughter Megan is a runner - first marathon a couple of weeks ago - and I've been running with her for the last couple of mornings. Talk about contrast - decrepitude versus lithe athleticism. Megan wants to qualify for Boston next year - go Megan!

That's about it - cold and rainy, and tonight is pizza night - we hope to return some hospitality at the Airport Pizza Bar which is actually in downtown Nome.