Dermot's NW Passage voyage on board Young Larry

23 September 2010 | Just left Nome
23 September 2010 | Just left Nome
17 September 2010 | Approaching Nome
11 September 2010 | 25 miles east of Point Barrow
11 September 2010 | 25 miles east of Point Barrow
10 September 2010 | Beaufort Sea
09 September 2010 | Beaufort Sea
08 September 2010 | Approaching Demarcation Point
06 September 2010 | Herschel Island
05 September 2010 | The rather splendidly named Beluga Bay- despite its absence of said whales so far
04 September 2010 | Tuktoyaktuk
03 September 2010 | Approaching Tuktoyaktuk
02 September 2010 | Franklin Bay
02 September 2010 | Franklin Bay
02 September 2010 | Franklin Bay

Ashore in Barrow- farewell and bon voyage to Young Larry

12 September 2010 | Barrow
Dermot O'Riordan
Ashore in Barrow- farewell and bon voyage to Young Larry

A lot has happened and happened fast. This will be a brief post as I have no charger for my laptop and the battery will probably die soon.

Yesterday we had a team pow-wow on some of our options. The two main issues were dropping me off somewhere safely and then how to deal with the customs.

With regard to the first issue, it was at the time reasonably light winds and we were about 6 hours from Barrow. Really we couldn't make any decision until we go there and assessed the situation. There were some fall-back options (for both me and the onward passage of Young Larry) though none of them were attractive. We could have tried contacting someone ashore to try and pick meup if the weather was too bad for a rubber dinghy for example. There were also other potential drop off points 12and 50 miles away though it wasn't certain how I might get from these to Barrow!

With regard to the customs we decided to be honest. We all have American visas because you can't use the Visa Waiver scheme unless you arrive on a scheduled plane. Andrew made a succession of expensive satellite calls to immigration in Anchorage then Nome, then Anchorage, the Nome and finally Fairbanks. Eventually he found an officer there who understood the situation. We have agreed that it is OK for me to present myself to immigration in Anchorage when I get there.

Before arriving at Barrow, you are asked to check in the locals to make sure that you don't interfere with their subsistence whaling. We could hear a lot of chatter from them on the VHF radio. We did this, and at the same time happened to see two bow-head whales- their prey. I fully support the rights of indigenous arctic peoples to catch limited quantities of whales. None us however wanted to participate and say "over heeerre" and actually contribute to the whales' demise!

The last miles to Barrow took ages and we didn't get there until 1am. It was calm and although it was dark it was safe to land now, but might not remain that way. We could feel the wind starting to stir. We made a decision to land me and all my bags. We had a tiny tot each of the remaining drops or whisky. We said our sad goodbyes and Andrew dropped me on the beach and disappeared back on board.

They are going to continue west. There is a bolt hole bout 50 miles away they can sit things out if necessary.

Meanwhile I amazingly managed to find me a taxi to take me to the "Top of the World Hotel". It was raining and I was in my wellies and yellow/blue survival/flotation suit, checking in at 2am another first that I have experienced on this trip.

Battery almost dead so I must go. There is so much I want to say when i have a chance to collect my thoughts.

Most of all I must thank Andrew, Maire, Sibeal and Young Larry for the most amazing adventure and journey. It has been a privilege.

I am keen to get home but also feel bad leaving them with still a long way to go at the end of the season. All the very best.

PS They may post some updates here but for the next 600 miles they are in a satellite and internet black hole.
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Vessel Name: Young Larry
Young Larry's Photos - Main
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Created 11 July 2010