In Barrow Alaska; Top of the World; The sun sets on November the 18th for the last time. The sun will not come above the horizon until January 24th !! Although we do not have any direct sunlight for 2 1/2 months; We still have dusk type light for about 2 hours every day.
There is no such thing; as 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic! We do have some light every day of the year; But in summer time we have 3 1/2 months of nothing but pure sunlight 24 / 7.
It is that time of year again; Time to go whaling out on the ocean ice pack. I am going to show you how much work it requires - JUST TO EAT !!
Can you imagine ? Chopping ice; with pick and axe by hand for SEVEN MILES to move skin boats and other equipment out to the lead opening. Just to gather food! No one gets paid for this work; One month of 12-14 hour days of chopping ice @ 20 to 50 below zero & colder - to make a flat smooth wide road for the snowmachines to transport supplies & equipment out to the camp sites - many miles from land; The most amazing aspect of breaking trail - no one ever complains !!
Here are the three guides for this journey - The Eves brothers- They are living legends in the Arctic in all villages due to the quality of Ivory they create working at home.
Come along for a spectacular journey from the warmth & comfort of your home or office.
Just in front of that snowmachine, you can see one of the markers placed on the ice. This lines up with others that are spaced out, to keep a visual record of which way the ice is moving.
Presently at this point in time, we have been out here almost daily for two weeks.
The days are cold, crisp, and refreshing. At the house of Whaling Captain - Eugene Brower - Sleds are dug out of the snow, cleaned off and make ready to head out to the ocean ice.. to ... .. BREAK TRAIL !!
This is it, hard back breaking work, for hours & days upon end, It is no easy task to break trail. I am going to show you .. the entire hunt. from breaking trail, setting up camp and living out on the ocean ice, also inside the umiaq, day by day.
We were requested to specificly join this crew, we received invites from The President of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling commission who is also a board member of the Internation Whaling Commission - Euguene Brower !
Day one was a 'test' to see and determine what type of workers the captain has on his crew.
Today, back out on the trail, they have a 15 foot high pressure ridge to go through, The Captain said, no sense going around it, lets just remove the whole thing and go right through it !
It may surprise you as to why this incredible immensive amount of work is done. Why not just go around the obstacles ?
The whole idea is to construct a smooth wide STRAIGHT road; for when we have to evacuate the ice because of wind shifts and advancing ice towards our location.