Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Thank you time and into the goody bags

To everyone who sent us goodies in Dutch and Nome - I have had little packs of stuff hidden in various odd spaces and have now extracted shortbread fingers - thanks Gonzales - for morning tea, hot stuff from Carla's bag (Butt paste not yet necessary...) and put the snickers away again. We need those for real emergencies. Dig boskets, Sue - last one went with marmelade yesterday and the smoked salmon kept me alive all the way to Nome. Izz, special dark offering still awaiting processing. And Pat and Dave B for books, Steve for your silver dollar, now on the magic wall. Judy for the satphone - Speedy for wearing his best purple frock for us and all y'all for your messages and huge support. I must have left out lots of people - never make lists like this - thanks to you too!

AGW, we will go to Tuk and at least refuel, although so far we have not used much. Amodino will be there tomoz and will fill up and go because they think the ice is ok in Dease Strait. We'll check when we get to Tuk. List of Tuk jobs if we decide to wait there. We are 311 miles away and motoring again in the tail of the big low which seems to have come through a couple of days early - might blow past Devon in time to clear for the eclipse. We will be about 600 miles short of Cambridge Bay at Eclipse Time so will definitely miss it. Have spoken to Pascal and we've all got our appendages crossed for clear wx for them. Eleanor is in Resolute - I think - so clear there too please!

A floating lumber yard out here - huge trees every hundred metres or so and little lines of smaller stuff everywhere. At Cape Nome, I found two bits of silver birch on the beach that had been cut by beavers - somewhere up the Yukon.

And imagine if you will crusty old whaler 100 years ago in one of the hundreds of ships there would have been around here. He's 150 feet up in the crows nest, cold, in what then passed for wet weather gear - if he was lucky he would have had Eskimo gear - 'Thar she bloooows! Two points on the larboard bow, Captain, about 2 miles...' and the ship jumps to life. Transfer said whaler to Berri's foredeck in yesterday's ice, sit him on a milk crate and give him my Mustang suit to keep warm and dry and a little mobile phone sized gadget with buttons on it and show him how to press the buttons and the boat alters course. 'Now steer me through the ice and no more of this 'two points stuff'!

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