Friday, August 26, 2016

Rescue at sea: Etah and the Danish Navy assist|

What the hell do you have to do to get away?  When Ault (Matt Rutherford's Ocean Research Project boat) reached Etah Greenland (700 miles south of the pole, 78 N 68 W) they bumped into an adventure cruise ship.  ORP had finished its work for NASA so they had headed another 100 miles north on a pleasure cruise to the abandoned settlement once used as a jumping off point for the pole in the age of exploration.

But sometimes it's good to have company.  Despite a parachute sea anchor and bare poles they were knocked down in a gale when a stray line wrapped around the propeller.  Now that is a problem.  You might even hope for a tow from an adventure cruise ship.  But they did better.  A ship of the Navy of the  Kingdom of Denmark was conveniently at anchor 100 miles south near the Thule Air Base at the top of Baffin Bay.  Bound by the law of the sea to respond to mariners in distress, the Danes headed north, put Ault under tow, and brought them back to safe harbor where they were able to cut the line wrapped around the propeller.

But don't take my word for it read Matt (Red Dot on the Ocean) Rutherford's first hand account:
NASA, Etah and the Danish Navy |

Etah or bust has been our motto since the boatyard in Sisimiut. Etah is a fjord in the far north of Greenland roughly 700 miles from the North Pole that was used by various explorers during the great age of exploration. It’s a beautiful area, very green, which is abnormal that far north.

Going to Etah was the prize for completing the survey on time. If we didn’t complete the survey or if we didn’t get it done early enough we wouldn’t go. “Etah or Bust” was our rally cry, our motivation; it’s what we all looked forward to.

Etah is only 80 miles north of Qaanaaq and Inglefield fjord so it wasn’t that much further north than we already were. It only took us 24 hours to get there. Unfortunately our timing coincided with an adventure tourist cruise ship. I hate adventure tourism.snip 08snip 09

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