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Whaling Update – April 3rd

I have some maps to display, that clearly show, some of the ice trails. that are being chopped through the ice, for the different crews to prepare for whaling !!

This is just the most exciting fantastic time of the year ! 

Coupled with an incredible amount of backbreaking work in extremly cold surroundings of nothing but ICE !!

 

 

 

        Barrow Ice Trails The amount of work, involved, by literaly hundreds of people from all the different crews, chopping ice for weeks on end, seems far fetched to some, but the maps and the photographs tell the true story !!  I stand and salute ! These very hard workers, for I am in awe of your incredible teamwork and workmanship !!  !!

Ice trails in Barrow for Whaling

Ice trails in Barrow for Whaling

Taking a break -- 3 miles out, and no place to .. .. !

Taking a break -- 3 miles out, and no place to .. .. !

 Eugene Browers Crew; Fredrick Browers Crew, have reached open water, About two miles of work has been lost, the ice broke the evenng before and much has been blown out to sea.

Extremely COLD !

Extremely COLD !

 

Onward, cutting through the ice.

Onward, cutting through the ice.

The heat is in the tools !

The heat is in the tools !

Workng on the Ice trail

Workng on the Ice trail

Breaking Trail Videos

Here is the first batch of videos created many miles out on the ocean ice.

VIDEOS ARE HERE

On the way to work !!

On the way to work !!

Frozen Hair

Frozen Hair

It is very cold out here, work hard, and your going to sweat, the heat is in the tools your using, work hard and you will be quite warm, the heat coming off  my son Marks  head, will cause frost to form all over your head !! – Have a great day! Getting ready to go hunting for food – requires an immense amount of work that most people are totally clueless about. Especially when FLOYD DAVIDSON  attempts to write a photo essay on whaling from inside a pickup truck on land !!  F.D.  continually lies about the Inupiaq way of life and the people involved. He is a discrace in this village for making up bold face lies about people and events that are easily PROVEN FALSE !

 

 

 

This section will be updated and posted as new information becomes available.
Friday Mar 24-09.  For the last two days, we have not been breaking trail due to weather conditions out there.  Too windy & snowy!
Breaking trail is the heart of whaling,  Unless you have a path to transport equipment, that will work quickly (in case of emergency). You will not be able to approach the lead opening – some 10 – 20 miles way out on the frozen ocean ice pack that is locked to land, However the current way out there, can break that ice section, the wind has the same capabilities.
I am going to include more photographs of ‘breaking trail’ to give you a much better perspective of where we are and what we are up against.  Why do we do, what we do ?  What are the reasons ?
for instance, you can easily see in the photographs, smooth ice, and extreme pressure ridges that can rise to 50 feet in some areas,  Why would a captain choose to chop his way through a 20 foot high ridge of ice , when you can go around it to smoother ice?   That doesn’t make too much sense does it ? 
This is a ‘different world’ up here in the farthest regions of the Arctic.  The land of ice – is nice, but it is extremely dangerous.  You best know exactly what your doing out there,  15 miles is a long way to go, and once out there, anything can happen. YOU MUST BE PREPARED and expect it to happen!
Taking the easy way out there, is not safe, it has many drawbacks.  Snaking a trail over all the smooth parts results in a long ride, winding through the snake like trail.   In an emergency, You have to go warp speed to get the hell out of there.  The shortest distance is a straight line,  The safest ice is the thickest ice.  Mark your trail to go through the thickest part of the pressure ridges and your on the safest ice possible, that ice is solid, bunched together, solid.
Smoother ice however, can crack anyplace and seperate. If you are on the wrong side of that ice, that would spell disaster!

Breaking Trail

Time for whaling – step one – break trail for the many miles, out to the lead opening on the ocean ice.  Open water is way out there now, too far out, but soon the ice will crack. The sky will show if open water is visible.  The reflections of the large dark area of the ocean, creates a visible sign in the sky,  that is easily read by the hunters to discern when open water is present !!

Breaking Trail

Breaking Trail

THREE, of my sons are working for Eugene Brower, President of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling commision and board member of the International Whaling commission.  Captain – Fredrick Brower is also here, lending members of his crew to help on day one (saturday 3/21/09 ) to move moutains of ice; by digging, chopping, cutting, what ever gets that trail all smoothed out so equipment can travel back and forth without any undue excessive navigational obstacles / hazards ;in the face of this huge frozen arctic ice area that is hundreds of square miles of food shopping area we have as our ‘front yard’ ; Most of the Inupiaq food supply comes from the many different varieties of animals that live in the ocean.  15 foot tall pressure ridge Believe it or not, this is the work area for day 2, for the crew, they have to move enough of this ice in this area to get through, Going around  all of this, is not an option, in some areas, you have to dig your way through the ever present obstacles in the trail you intend to create. Hopefully I will be able to post – before and after photos & video of the job accomplishments

Work Area

Work Area

Here is the task at hand, clear a path, make it smooth !!  GO TO WORK !!    and .. .. .. .. ‘hustle’ !!  Lets see.. .. how good of a worker you REALLY  are !!
This is a 12 hour day of incredible hard work !!