At home in Nome – NEW VIDEO [29th Jun 13] See below for comments (8)
With two of the four trailer wheels unable to even hold air, several bits of the rim falling off and rolling off to the side and the keel literally bumping and scraping along the winding road down to the boat ramp here in Nome, at around Midnight on Thursday morning, two daisy-chained 4WDs gradually reversed a precariously-perched Teleport backwards into the water. Standing on top for the last bit, ready to double-check she still floated and be ready to start the engine, I could feel her gouging a line into the ground as she went. Though terrifying, it was at least cleaning that very bottom-part of the keel, normally impossible to get to.
It’s so good to be floating again – no longer a dusty, teetering work-environment, Teleport feels like a home again. The carpet’s down, the heater’s on, the music’s playing, there’s mung-beans growing in our sprouter, the diesel and water tanks are full, everything’s unpacked, stowed away and we’re ready to go. All we need now is for the wind to blow in the right direction and we’re off on the next leg of this adventure! We can’t wait! Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who helped get Teleport safely back in the water. It’s practically a miracle - it’s hard to convey just how challenging and how high-stakes the task was, and they did it with access only to the most basic stuff like a couple of hunks of wood, a couple of jacks, bits of rope, and a completely inappropriate and dilapidated old trailer built for flat-bottomed, bullet-proof fishing boats. You guys, especially Phil and Rolland, are amazing!
Our French sailing friend Luc met us at the Airport (he’d already been here a week getting his yacht Roxane ready), and Jess and I wasted no time in getting to work on our To-Do lists. Apart from a touch of mold in a few places, Teleport survived the winter very well, thanks no doubt to the shrink-wrap protection provided to us by Dr. Shrink, and our friend Rolland here who put it on so expertly for us after we left last Autumn. Thanks very much! Our lead-acid batteries that we left fully-charged onboard still measured a boisterous 13.2 V, all our tinned food in the lockers seems fine, in fact the only winter casualty was one can of Coke that exploded over most things in the forepeak. By the end of that first endless day (we landed about 9AM after about 36 hours of travel) we’d already pulled off all the shrink-wrap, put the blades back on our Air Breeze wind turbine; replaced the cockpit waterproof speaker (we had no music outside last year!); bogged up with epoxy-putty and then sealed with a layer of epoxy paint all the holes I drilled to drain the soggy keel over the winter; going through and organizing all the new charts; checked the engine still worked (it did, yay!), painted green the various chafe marks on the hull from the last two season’s abuse; cleaned everything etc.
It then took a couple of days before the local fisherman Phil returned from fishing to help get Teleport back in the water, but we happily filled in the days doing odd jobs; watching the last of the sea ice vanish; photographing the Muskox wandering around sometimes only 100m from the boat; taking 18 of Rolland’s soon-to-be Iditarod sled dogs out for some exercise towing us all in the side-by-side ATV/quad-bike; making a brace to hold two of our DSLR cameras side-by-side and wiring them to take stereo-pair photos simultaneously for some 3-D experiments; changing the oil in the engine; making a tachometer for our prehistoric engine using a cheap bicycle computer; enjoying ranger-lead hikes around the Tundra; chatting with the many and varied gold-miners and their contraptions along the beach; having BBQ’s beside a river cheering the yearly river-raft race participants; spoiling ourselves a croissant and a Halibut & King Crab omelet at the wonderful ‘Pingo – Bakery Seafood House’ – owned and run by Phil’s lovely wife Erica; and celebrating my 30th birthday which ticked over under the midnight sun! It’s also been great to catch up with local friends Pat & Sue, and also our charismatic Swedish sailing friend Borje who actually wintered over onboard his steel sailboat ‘Anna’ in a river just north of here, the hull encased in ice six feet thick with no one but sled dogs to keep him company for most of the long, dark and bitterly cold winter. Amazing.
In other exciting news, our ‘TrollPro’ underwater tow-housing for our GoPro camera turned up, and also the incredible GoPro carrying ‘Phantom’ quadrocopter drone made by ‘DJI’. I’ve never seen such an amazing piece of technology – uncannily stabilized even in a breeze by a combination of GPS, fluxgate compass, gyroscopes and a 6-axis accelerometer, this UFO-like craft is stupidly easy to fly, has a range of 300m, various impressive orientation and return-to-home failsafe systems, I can barely contain my excitement at trying out some awesome new camera angles this season. I took it for my first tentative test-flight last night, and the video footage is beautifully stable (FYI - I’m also using a special rubberized camera mount and carefully balanced propellers to remove any sign of that wobbly jelly-effect vibrations cause on GoPro and other cameras). Now I’m waiting for it to stop raining so I can go and keep practicing!
We could see humpback whales were feeding offshore here last night while enjoyed a feast at Pat & Sue’s place with some of the other yachties and the new local Judge who is keen to learn about sailing The Northwest Passage. So many tales of high adventure around the table, especially from Pat who grew up here, spending - it seems - most of his childhood wandering around on the ice. On the way back to Teleport at about 1AM we saw our first Otter – playfully slipping through, on, around and under the surface of the water beside the boat! Can’t wait to see more of these creatures further south!
The coastline and increasingly the rivers are becoming brim-full of big Salmon splashing around, and I’m hoping to get a fishing permit tomorrow to try and catch ourselves some fresh seafood!
The local Customs officer will bring us our ‘Cruising Permit’ on Tuesday morning, and providing the wind’s more favorable by then, we’ll depart ASAP after that!
Don’t forget to follow our progress live on our POSITION PAGE, as our awesome Solara Field Tracker pings our position back every hour to our Google Earth map embedded on our website! We all have John at ‘Landwide Satellite Solutions’ to thanks for loaning this unit to us, and Tom at ‘Solara’ who is in the middle of setting it up to feed into our website map right now!
And last but not least, Jess has finished editing and uploading the next video in our series of Video Updates from last season, covering our trip from Tuktoyaktuk across to the beautiful Herschel Island. Watch it on our VIDEO page, or hopefully it will also appear embedded below:
29th Jun 13 - Dalbs Dogs - commented:
Mate, where on Earth do you put all those new gadgets you keep accumulating ?
Have you got a basement or an attic on the boat that you haven't told us about?
I look forward to many stereoscopic, underwater, flyby, action videos and photographs on your next update !
29th Jun 13 - Alan Garde - commented:
Another summer messing about in boats. I hope the weather isn't too rough and I look forward to your next update !
30th Jun 13 - David Gorton - commented:
Nice work - Marty McFly would be proud of your new "flux capacitor" gadgets ... glad you are both having fun for Chris's birthday ... keep the GoPro etc fun coming ...
30th Jun 13 - Anonymous - commented:
Hi Chris / Jess
Glad to see that the boat just scraped back in and that your setting out to give us more adventures.
Impressive list of camera gear and look forward to regular updates with lots of pictures.
Ask your friend Luc when his blog will be up and running.
Have fun and stay safe
From sunny Queensland.
PS Did you get married yet
30th Jun 13 - glen - commented:
Boats still looking after you so you both must be happy about that. Looking forward to the updates. Have a great time.
30th Jun 13 - Jonathon - commented:
Your videos are always too short, still it keeps me coming back. Thanks once again. J
30th Jun 13 - Anonymous - commented:
Great video. Thanks for sharing.
However, as a Canadian, I'm not too impressed with the manner with which you crumpled up our flag when changing to a US courtesy flag.
Flags are sovereign symbols, and as such should be treated with respect.
I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but please keep it in mind in the future.
Look forward to your future adventures.
1st Jul 13 - Merritt - commented:
I enjoyed following your travels last season, you both are true inspirations, I look forward to this season big time, keep up the amazing adventures :) ps thanks for the beautiful videos.
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