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Day 8 out on the trail.. ..

We spotted polar bear tracks,, heading from Barrow, out to the ice where we are going to work on the trail.

Polar Bear Tracks

Polar Bear Tracks

 After noticing that the tracks were coming from barrow, we look to see what / where is the destination and we follow, but nothing was sighted in our area this day.

As we were standing there, Euguene Brower & Charles Brower began to speak of a time, years ago here out on the ice when they went to check the trail, just as we were doing now.  Euguene & Charles saw a polar bear standing near the open lead, looking into the water, the bear bent over and grabbed a big huge piece of ice and lifted it, thought about it and placed it down and grabbed a much larger piece of ice and walked back over and stood at the water, The bear dropped the ice into the water and then dove in and climbed out with a beluga whale, much to the amazement of the two Inupiaq Hunters that witnessed this event. 

They had each been in shock over the bears ‘thought’ process which spoke much of the intelligence of this particular bear which was bigger then most !!

Out to the ice .. .. we follow !

Out to the ice .. .. we follow !

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!