Barrow Adventures– Day 2
On our second day in Barrow we went to UMIAQ where we met up with Steve from the Marine Exchange of Alaska. He would be working with us, setting up green energy sources for the project and working on the AIS system. We made it out to the CODAR site and saw the ice had moved back in shore, close enough to walk out on, something that is very unusual for this time of year. So our bear guide, Tony, took us over and went on the ice with us. Tony was awesome. He has lived in Barrow his whole life and shared so many stories with us about living in Barrow and their culture. Later, Hank and Steve fixed the noise problem the system had. They also did some wiring and checked out the site
It was then time to do some checking of the AIS and antenna. We tested the system by walking in a semicircle around the antenna with the transponder a few times. After that was finished, we put the transponder on the back of one of the ATVs and turned into simulated ships to test the AIS system. We rode around with a GPS so our locations were recorded and Hank, Steve, Scott, and Mike checked to see how far we could be detected.
This day was colder than our first day in Barrow, so after all the tests were done, we did a quick ride out to the bone-yard one last time and for 10 minutes were the most northern people in the United States. After admiring the Arctic Ocean and beauty of Point Barrow, the group headed back to town and went to lunch. After lunch we went to a shop where they make scrimshaw, which is made from whalebones and baleen. We got to talk to some of the artists. One was named Vernon. He started making scrimshaw when he was 17 and has been doing it for 20 years now.
That evening, when dinner was over, we went to Joe’s Museum. Joe was a water deliverer in Barrow for 26 years and had collected artifacts and Arctic animals all his life. Joe had a lot of stuff and could be classified as a hoarder, but was nice and extremely knowledgeable of the history of Alaska. Joe also had the sweetest dog named Laker, who was the highlight of the tour for Amanda.
The most exciting part of our trip so far came next. Amanda, Carey, and Mike did the real Polar Bear Plunge. We ran into the Arctic Ocean and ran right back out. While in the water it wasn’t cold, but as soon as we got out, the coldness hit us and we sprinted to the car where we had tons of towels and blankets waiting for us. We quickly rinsed off and went to bed to get ready for our string of flights the next day.