Seeing The Miracle

On July 24, the rowers were touched by the hand of Gaia and rowed 30 km into a stiff head wind with their GPS off. Had they not made it around the point that day, this is what they would have faced. The clouds have cleared finally.

ScreenHunter_90 Aug. 01 16.39

About Tony Heller

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33 Responses to Seeing The Miracle

  1. killersolos says:

    They made 18 miles today, but based on their latest blog posting I suspect they are beginning to wonder if they have fucked up bigtime.

  2. @njsnowfan says:

    Can not turn around, must keep rowing and dragging the row boat.

  3. Traitor In Chief says:


  4. Mike says:

    Yet every time they move a few meters before and after the point, they ping rapidly so everyone knows where they are in case the worst happens. Anyone hazard a guess as to what they did?

  5. Eric Barnes says:

    Methinks the SS Hand of Gaia will be near whenever the intrepid adventurers need her.

  6. tony says:

    Where do you get that map? I can’t get to zoom in that much in the IR mode.

  7. Richard Lynch says:

    Meanwhile, the Kayakers have snuck past them. You can trace their progress (some of it in rivers, lakes, and streams on the peninsulas) at

    • Disillusioned says:

      You’re right! It looks like the kayakers are very close to Paulatuk tonight–in a cove at the bottom of Parry Peninsula just to the west of Paulatuk at the southwestern bottom of Darnley Bay.

      It’ll be interesting if Larry, Moe, Curly and Shemp head for Paulatuk also–or if they go east across the Bay staying on course in the Admunsen Gulf and onto their destination with fate.

      If I were betting, my monies would be they head to Paulatuk to at least try and get an anchor, if not to get a lift out of there.

  8. Richard Lynch says:

    The sailors, on the other hand, are stuck behind the ice, suffering high winds. The next time anyone tries this, they should try leaving from Paulatuk.

  9. Richard Lynch says:

    I think the movement you refer to is recounted by them here:

    We awake to calm seas gently lapping our refuge bay. The telltale sign of change is the stillness of our cabin but it’s often easy to miss. The gentle rocking of the boat and the sudden silence from a screaming wind has a tendency of keeping one asleep rather than rousing them to work. We rally quickly and begin retracing our lost ground across Sellwood Bay reaching our previous high point within a couple hours. The day unfolds nicely with light winds and comfortable temperatures being the mood of the moment. Deterioration in the weather begins on the fourth rowing shift when offshore riffles begin to build quickly.

    Seems like the wind comes and goes.

  10. gator69 says:

    So how much cargo is able to make the ‘passage’.

  11. Andy Oz says:

    The French Connection’s boat is on top of the ice. At least they admit there is ice in the Arctic.

    • Disillusioned says:

      Their latest posts are showing recognition of the danger they face.

      “Arriving on Refuge Islet – as we’ve come to call it – results in round-the-clock work as our storm has worked itself into a gale. By late evening huge chunks of ice are everywhere, blown in by the incessant wind, and they’re stacking up along our beach. Most are small to medium sized ice flows but one is a towering giant well over 40 ft in height.”

      “The planned crossings have not been possible because of the ice coverage and the danger of ending up in a soup of massive icebergs. ”

      • Gerald Machnee says:

        That damn 40 foot rotten piece of s&#$!

      • John Silver says:

        These guys are even worse off than the rowers, if they only have their sail.
        Do they have oars? If not, they really need a paddle, because they’re up there.
        Only the kayakers have vessels they can handle in these conditions.

  12. stewart pid says:

    Reggie gets jiggy …. miracles!!

  13. slimething says:

    One has to wonder if even one of the four becomes disillusioned with the whole affair, how will the others react? With four guys you have four different personalities, and once one or more starts doubting this “mission”, there will be heated arguments or worse at some point.

    • There Is No Substitute for Victory says:

      What I would like to know is if one of these rowing Dudes is in charge or if there are 4 Fletcher Christians on board . On an expedition of this type you would expect to have a Captain Bligh or leader on board whose job it is to motivate keep the crew focused on their mission.

      Remember the real Captain Bligh preformed what has to be the greatest ever recorded feat of seamanship by crossing 4,000 miles of open ocean, and he accomplished it in a row boat. An overloaded row boat at that and one without sufficient fresh water or supplies, but perhaps it was a more seaworthy vessel than the high tech Arctic Joule our 4 rowers are camping out in.

      • Bone Idle says:

        There’s no space for wishy washy consensus here. They require at least one who is a leader. One that specifies that a watch must be kept at all times. One that inspires when the going gets tough.

  14. StuartMcL says:

    It’s certainly looks like they are heading fo Paulatuk. If they maintain the progress they’ve made over the last 8 hours, they should be able to do it in another 12 hours of so. I doubt that they will head north again once they reach there.

    • Mike D says:

      I think they will at least make an attempt out of there and eastward before they’re forced to turn back. It would be ridiculous to bail so early. If they make an attempt, then they’ll get closer to a point where they can start saying the weather was the reason they had to quit and not the ice. It’ll work as an excuse.

  15. Richard Lynch says:

    The kayakers have made it to Paulatuk. The rowers are still energetically headed in that direction. Even the sailors have made a bit of progress today.

  16. Chewer says:

    Shit happens.
    We once rescued 25 refugees (they set out with 54 from S.W. Pakistan) aboard a 48′ Bonka boat and we met up with them just inside the Malacca straits following a monster storm. We got them aboard, hooked them up on IV’s (starving, dehydrated with three sharks circling the boat and the dead dumped overboard as shark food) and then four days later deposited them much more healthier on the pier in Karachi where they were promptly executed by handguns and machineguns by the Pakistani’s (apparently it is a crime to leave your country without the Governments permission)…
    We’ve also been stranded in early July when boated the shoreline (25′-45′ depth) in the early morning hours along Tanada lake for some good fishing, only to find the ice had blocked the path back, so the good old shoreline boat dragging is a familiar trip!
    These assholes on a mission from Gaia are beyond their realm of knowledge & understanding, and if they’re totally retarded, they’ll make another attempt next year -:)

  17. They’re still clinging to the coast. I honestly thought they would cross at Clapperton Island.

    Either they are regrouping in Paulatuk, maybe in the hope the ice melts in the next few days. Or they will carry on around the coast, which is pretty much what they have done for the last month.

    Either way they will lose so much time, they might as well give up now.

  18. Caleb says:

    “…but one is a towering giant well over 40 ft in height.”

    There is always a silver lining, and in the case of these four fellows the silver lining is first hand reports of actual conditions. There is only so much you can learn from satellite shots, and the actual scientists who study the polar sea-ice will jump at any chance they can get to fly in an airplane over the sea, for a closer view.

    My guess is that the Arctic ocean cycles between ice thinning for thirty years and then thickening for thirty years. The “40 ft giants” are created out of “baby ice” by pressure ridges, and gradually increase in number, especially during summers when the ice is not flushed out as quickly through Fram Strait as it was in 2007.

    That’s only a guess, however, as you can’t see which bergs are thin and which are thick very well, from satellites, I need to hire people to go out and look. Being short on funds, I’m happy to have these four fellows go out and do observations for free.

  19. wulliejohn says:

    They need to get the hull re-skinned and new skids fitted for more man-hauling.

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