A lovely week in Wainwright, except for one thing…

Published on 15.07.2009 - Arctic Calling

The crew of the Baloum Gwen spent a very pleasant week in this tiny port at the end of the Earth. But...

After reaching Wainwright on Sunday 5th July, the crew set out again almost a week later on 11th July at 2.45 in the afternoon. For anyone interested in finding out more about the north of Alaska, there are dozens of websites dealing with this remote port on the other side of the world. Just enter Wainwright and... you'll find out that the 148 American families living in the township are very hospitable, because the crew of the French sloop spent nearly a week there. The most interesting day of their stay was 8th July, which was spent on an excursion aboard quad bikes exploring the area around the town. The following day, skipper Thierry wrote in his daily blog: "Baloum Gwen likes it in Wainwright ...!"

Apart from that, there is one piece of bad news: on 11th July, Thierry wrote that an oil slick a good sixty kilometres or more long had been sighted in the sea off Wainwright. He also tells us that there are aircraft flying over the area that appear to be observing the direction taken by the slick. Which means that to a general lack of interest, yet another tide of oil will wash up in a part of the world where the biodiversity is particularly significant.
On 14th July, the Baloum Gwen arrived in the lagoon at Point Barrow, after forging its way through the sea-ice pressing in around the sloop. A new crew member is scheduled to join the boat here and they plan to stay at Point Barrow for a week.

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