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Monday, August 31, 2009

Thanks To The People We Met In Aberdeen - We Are Going To Eat Lobster ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
We just passed through the eye of the storm. Never seen anything like that in my life, we just did, unbelievable!
I want to apologize to those from Aberdeen. I mispronounced the name of their city. I want to thank those guys for the lobster. We are cooking it in our 12 volt pot right now, trying to anyhow, it looks delicious!
We intend to be in Edinburgh in a couple of hours. Then we are going to London at 11:00 AM Thursday morning.
Look forward to seeing you then. God bless. Bye

London Is Planned For 11 AM Thursday! ! ! Edinburgh Is Next.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, this is Ralph Brown with the I Am Second Wounded Hero Voyage. We are leaving the Aberdeen harbor heading towards Edinburgh. We met with some people from the Scottish television and we are going down to Edinburgh. Then we will go from there to London for an 11:00 AM Thursday morning arrival is our goal.
Thank you so much! Have a great day and God bless you!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We Ran The Very, Very Dangerous Gauntlet ! ! ! Now We Are In Peterhead Scotland.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, this is Ralph. We are at a place called Peterhead. We ran the gauntlet early this morning. We stopped for church at a place called Wick. We now have gone down the road to Peterhead. It is kind of at the tip of the last real crossing before we get to London. We have 600 miles or so to get to London. All is well, but all is not well. On our T-top we taped a bunch of knives and wrapped them with more tape, basically holding the T-top pieces from sliding sideways and then we were holding it down with rope. Then we discovered that when we were bouncing over some waves that the bracket that holds our hydraulic pump for our jack plate broke in half, so we need to figure out how to get the jack plate bracket back up. The jack plate itself is fine. It is just that the hydraulic pump is no longer moving up and down.
I guess the Intruder itself, the boat we are in, has got some minor damage in one spot. It is going to be cheap to repair with the right materials. We could not get the right materials, so guess what? The repair broke again. I can’t imagine why. We were slamming the boat into 15 foot seas with 350 pounds of gasoline going into the air, probably 25 to 30 feet in the air, and slamming down hard. I can’t imagine why it did any damage on the boat! But, the boat as a whole is doing real fine, other than that one spot.
When it comes to companies that make things that are breaking our trip, I should not be mentioning their names. My mother taught me to always to be respectful to people and to never say anything bad about anybody. I try to live up to that, but I am no where as good as my mother about that. She is like perfect at it; I guess that is why she is mom!
Anyways, in whole things are going real well. The wind kicked back up today, the waves were kicking into our face with real, real choppy waves 4 to 6 foot at night. We are both exhausted because we had very little sleep last night because we ran the gauntlet this morning with super, super choppy 6 footers, maybe a couple of 7 footers, but not too much. Thank God we did not have the 15 to 20 footers we saw yesterday in that same area. But we had for the gauntlet itself pretty mild. They say that it is one of the worst places in the world for shipwrecks and boats going down. So, we made it through there OK and we have made it across a couple of gaps. It looks like we just have a matter of grunting out some long hours on this little haul to get into London where we can claim the title as the smallest power boat to cross the Atlantic.
You have a great day and God bless you.
We should be in London, probably Wednesday or Thursday. Bye Bye

Through The Gauntlet, To Church In Wick And Now On The Way To Aberdeen.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
We got up early this morning and we jumped the hoop, we jumped the gauntlet. We went through what they call the Congress Smith over here, it was supposed to be real bad,but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be. It was real super, super choppy with 6 foot waves, with a lot of current and a lot of breaking waves. We have a boat load of water. But it was really not that bad.
We went to church this morning at Wick and are shooting for Aberdeen right now. It is our last major jump of any kind before we hit London. As long as the wind doesn’t change directions it should go really well.
Talk to you later. God Bless. Bye

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Still in Kirkwall

As we were getting ready to leave, the media all at once showed up. Our mission is to use the publicity to raise money for wounded hero foundations so we made time to meet with them. We are hoping 150,000 people will make a donation of $30 or more and get a shirt to commerate their donation and of course wear it on Fridays.

After further inspection we feel like the T-Top is about to completely break off in our laps. We have one of the most dangerous pieces of water to go through. What I call the gauntlet, the place the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. If the T-Top gives way at that spot it could be a real disaster to us. The winds are about 40 mph and that should bring about 15 ft seas. Fifteen foot seas are dangerous enough without having the top of your T-Top break off in your face. There are a lot of wires running through it so we could not just toss it aside. It could be an end of the trip so to speak. We are going to do some more repairs on it before we move on.

We should be able to get that fixed and move on tomorrow early in the morning stop for church somewhere and then keep on moving.

Heading out to Aberdeen

We are heading out to a town called Aberdeen. The winds and the waves will be tough but not as bad as yesterday. We need to move the boat towards the goal.


To all family and friends reading this, Bob and I are careful. We intend to come home.

Love
Ralph

Yahoo answers the big question

I have news for them..................
The following question was posted on Yahoo Answers.....


What type of power boat is required to cross the Atlantic of the Pacific?
I know you can sail across the Atlantic or Pacific in a 30-40foot sailboat and many people have done it in much smaller craft.

My Question is: How about a power boat?
What length of boat would you need to attempt a trans-Atlantic crossing?
Obviously, fuel would be the primary concern. How much fuel capacity would this boat require?

Also, I would just like to throw in there: What price range are we looking at for a boat of this type?

Here are some of the answers in the order found.....

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
It is possible and very practical to cross Oceans in moderate sized power boats. A good reference on this subject is "Voyaging under Power", byt Captain Robert P. Beebe, whichin its third or fourth edition. Basically you need a very seaworthy displacement hull, with a slow turning diesel engine and a large fuel capacity. There are a number of off-the-shelf boats being built today that can cross the Atlantic without modification, some can even cross the Pacific easily. Foremost among them are the Nordhavn boats. The 40, 45, and 46 are about the smallest craft that can safely and reliably do this sort of thing. They all have slow turning diesels, like the lugger (a brand), and generally have only a single screw. For a backup, there may be a smaller yanmar diesel with sailboat style folding propeller. These boats can go 3 or 4,000 miles on a single tank of fuel at 7 - 9 knots continuously, which is a lot better than any sailboat in this size range. A Nordhave 46, which is my favorite, can be found used, in good condition, well equiped for under $500,000. - in this market, maybe a lot under. Good luck
Source(s):
40 years sailing/voyaging experience.


Next Answer......

Most Ocean going boats, are in the 90' or larger range with at least 5,000 gal. fuel capacity. Often much more. While smaller boats have made the crossing with extra fuel on deck etc. it's not something you would want to try. Most yachts are fine for say 1500 mile trips. Something like a Hatteras or sun seeker, once your going to England,even with refueling in Nova Scotia, you need a 3500 mile range min. to cross safely. Most of these boats start in the multimillion range. Say $5 million. There are "rust buckets" cheaper, but you really need to stay away from them. In fact a 40' sail boat is far safer and you don' loose that much speed. The power boats cruise at 12-18 Knots.


Next Answer


Last person to try it in a 45' boat left 3 years ago and had almost 1000 gallons of fuel. we will miss him. You are smoking some good **** if you think you can do this in a small power boat. Sail boats are designed for rough water, power boats are not
Source(s):
http://www.yachtingworld.com/yw/blog/200…
http://www.bluewaternav.com/atlantic_cro…

Next Answer......

Here is what you need !! worked on that awesome boat when she was in Charleston, SC, before her first attempt to break the world record, all I con say is wow.

http://www.earthrace.net/

next answer......

a very big boat.. unless u wanna die

next answer......

I think you get the picture. We are in a 21 foot flats boat that does not have a cabin or a keel. You need to read the last entry or two to get an idea.

It is called the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage, for a reason.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Comes By

After we left Scalloway, Shetland Islands, the weather started getting rough right away. The harbor pilot followed us out. Those people in the Shetlands sure were nice people. With each and every stop it seems to get harder to leave. We were only there a few short hours and we made so many friends, people stepping up to help, from the Hotel Owner, Peter, to Maurice, his wife, to the Harbor Master and more.

It really humbled me when I saw an older couple with their canes get out of a taxi cab just to come down to the dock and meet us. Wow.

Soon after we left the Islands it became apparent that the weather report we saw was not going to give us the eight hours we expected to make the crossing. The winds picked up to about 40 mph and the waves picked up to about 10 -12 ft with an occasional 15 ft wave. They were coming out of the North West and we were heading South West. They were on our beam, coming at our side. (The most dangerous direction they could come from to our tiny little boat.) That Intruder did well. A flats boat in breaking 15 foot seas! I have always said 12 foot was my max, before I threw the sea anchor.

Out there the boat seemed to handle it well. Yes, there were about three close calls, Bob says about six. I only remember three where we could have flipped extremely easily if I did not turn the boat just right. One time we launched way up in the air and the wind caught the boat it came down on its tail and twisted sideways, well that was an eye opener. I wasn't going that fast we just hit that wave just right. God was smiling on us. Let’s face it he has been smiling on us this whole trip.

Our T-top has just about had it all the pipes are cracking. I don't understand it, the T-top is a super expensive one made with extra and larger aluminum pipes. The guy that built it and installed it says it is the best one made by anyone and he charges a lot for it. I am not sure what the problem is. It may have something to do with the 50,000 times we have slammed the boat down. By the way that number 50,000 times is not an exaggeration, it is probably low.

There is an Island half way called Fair Island where many a sea going person has decided to turn in and wait out the storm. Bob and I were going north of it and decided to go there, we turned south. We thought it was the responsible thing to do, but I did not want to be stuck there for several days. We have a mission and both of us are missing our families. We decided we could make it and did not want to stop in the middle.

Right after that, the Search and Rescue Helicopter came and checked on us. They were there watching us for a good while. I hope they took pictures and made video. After about 15 minutes they figured we did not need help and went home. Right after they left the waves seemed to kick up.

We stayed at it, soaking wet from head to toe, literally. I did not feel cold at all and it was actually fun. Yet, I was glad when we finally slipped past the first Island. Then I realized I was cold, real cold. By the time we got to Kirkwall, I was freezing, so was Bob. I could not get warm. While we were crossing I did all the driving. I was on the side getting the wind and the waves. Don't get me wrong, Bob got plenty of wind and water. I think the continuous soaking of me sucked out some heat. I, the super cheap one, broke down and rented a hotel, just to get warm. Usually we sleep on the boat unless someone offers us a place to stay, just to save money, but we needed to get warm.

Those who know me know I don't eat chocolate or much of any candy. Today, I ate all the fudge I could get my hands on, it seemed to give me energy. Then I took a hot shower and stayed there forever. Tomorrow we move on if the weather report allows. I don't know why I keep checking them. They seem wrong more than they are right. I guess it is one of those things you are supposed to do before going out to sea.

We still have more than six hundred miles before London. We hopefully can get as far as Edinburgh tomorrow, it is probably not likely. We will probably stop at Aberdeen.

The Storm Has Found Us ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
That storm we were trying to outrun is on us. We cannot outrun it now, it has found us!
The waves are huge and breaking all around us. We have about 40 miles to go. We are going south… (The remainder is garbled from the wind and cannot be transcribed)
God Bless

We Are Trying To Beat Another Storm ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, this is Ralph, we just now left the Shetland Islands from the city of Scalloway, We are on our way to the Orkney Islands, the city is called Kirkwall, I am not sure of the name. We are not going to Stromness, the largest city in the Orkney Islands which are just north of Scotland.
Again we are racing a storm. We should have left last night, but we were exhausted. When we got here the Coast Guard advised us to not leave and so we chose to not leave. Anyways, we are leaving this morning. We are much fresher. It is daylight hours and we are going to try to beat the storm. If not, you can read about us in the newspapers!
You have a great day!
God Bless you. Bye

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today My Son Goes To College ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
As we sit or approach 20 miles off the coast of the Shetland Islands, not too far off the coast of Scotland. We have already traveled 6,700 miles in honor of Wounded Heroes on the I am Second Wounded Heroes Voyage, Crossing The Atlantic, presented by Interstate Batteries and the others.
I think about what heroes goes through when they miss time from their families and they miss many opportunities as well as they often give up their life or health.
Today my oldest son goes to college. It was my goal to be back in time to take him. Since the day he was born I held him in my lap and talked about this day. Today I’ll miss it.
I feel the pain of many of those heroes. Each and every hero that gives out something for other people, I salute you!
Thank You,
God bless.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ON The Ocean Again

In a few minutes we will leave out from the Faroe Islands on our way to the Shetlands a city named Scalloway. It is 10:55 pm on Wednesday, August 26 2009.
We waited for the huricane to pass, never came. We did make some repairs that needed to be done.
Left Torshavn earler today and stopped at the next southern island known as Sandoy and the harbor of Skálavík where we picked up fuel and visited the home of the Star. We have discovered that we did not panic when the big waves hit the boat we did panic when we thought the cookies were all gone.
Relief was quick as Lyder brought another plate.
We will be heading out momentarily and driving all night. We want to be in the Shetlands early in the morning and off to Orkin Islands later. There is a low pressure over Ireland now that will be moving over across Scotland then out to sea. We want to get to the coast of Scotland before the storm.
Bob and I decided not to wait for perfect weather and jump from Island to Island down to London and get there hopefully on or before Septemer 2. I will be updating from the sea.
We heard from a retired General who is sending out some emails inviting other retired officers to ban together to pay for a leg of the voyage.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Move The Boat

After 6000 miles and over 50,000 times slamming a 350 pound fuel tank on the deck we had some damages. We spent most of the day scrounging up some resin and glass. We never did get the bi axle we sought and had to settle for some cloth and mat. The repairs are basically completed. We plan to ship some stuff back home. We have been caring all kinds of junk around the world.

We should shove off tomorrow after checking the weather. It looks like we will change out itinerary to make some stops on the way. Check out the Shetland Islands. The storms have been coming too close together to try for London in one shot. We already set several world records on this voyage, so it doesn't make sense too worry to much about breaking the record we already own.

I still owe you a detailed report on the Faroes and Iceland. Both will take some time and hopefully I will get that time tomorrow. By the way we were on the front page of last nigts newspaper, the national radio each of the last several days, and on the news tonight.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wierd or Planned? You decide.

Weird or planned?

I know some people are tired of me saying, "What are the odds?"

Remember that guy that said,"Get Out", when I asked to go to the restroom in Iceland at the 24 hour store, 10-11. He made me so mad and I did not like my first impression of Iceland. Well that night if he would have let me use it I never would have ended up at the Pizza Factory, who let me in to use the restroom after closing the store at about 1:00 am. I went back a couple of days later to say thank you. That is where I met, Birgir.

He gave me a ride around town to meet with 66 Degrees North Clothing Store and a few others. He also told me he knew Elin Brimheim Heinesen. Get this; she is the head of the media department for the National Broadcasting Company in the Faroe Islands. She has also met with all kinds of world famous persons, a good contact to have. He introduced us.

Well Linjohn Christianson, the star of the new Discovery Show, Mighty Ships, went back to the other Island where his main home is. We needed a new place to stay while waiting out the storm. Elin had an empty apartment above her house. Guess where we are now. She is also introducing us to journalists both in the Faroe Islands and in other places. By the way she is a dynamite singer. Check out the attached slide show of the number one Island nation in the world according to National Geographic Travel Magazine with her singing in the background. It won an award in Germany. She has a web site called www.heinesen.fo




We also met Captain Jacob again. We needed directions in Greenland and the same guy is here in Faroe Islands. His directions in Greenland, right on exactly what we needed.

I don’t know what is wrong with the GPS tracking system, we are going to change the batteries, and completely reset it so hopefully you can track us on the Web site.

Unplanned Stops

Unplanned stops seem to blow up in our faces. We were completely fine going on our planned path, but when Bob and I decided to make an unplanned stop, well you probably read the last blog, we had some real excitement. We tried to find a harbor entrance where there is not really a harbor and most come by helicopter. We tried to follow two fishing vessels that disappeared in the sea fog. We were following too far behind not by choice but simply they were that far ahead of us when we made the decision to follow them.

I just learned that the area we went through is one of the most dangerous places for a boat in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful if you come in day light. Our base map only shows one small island between two larger ones. The truth is there are several tiny islands with rocks and shoals as well as swirling currents and ten to twelve foot waves breaking into the boat. Each wave filled the boat with water. They were breaking all the way through the T-Top and pushing us towards the shoals.

Obviously, we made it out alive and with only minor damage. The Intruder did just fine, not so well for my lap top. God smiled on us. Sometimes when you get in trouble, if you simply turn around and go back where you came from you can fix the problem. What a great lesson for life. Changing plans in the middle of the stream usually blows up, another lesson I have heard all my life. Sometimes if you just do what you have been taught you do real well. I have to thank my dad for that lesson.
We should have picked up the satellite phone or the radio and checked out the new location before attempting to travel in waters we did not have on our plan or a chart.

Here is a picture of the area, click on it to make it bigger. Now imagine swirling waters and giant breaking waves while pitch black and just enough sea fog to reflect the spot light back in your face. I am glad we went back out to sea, because we would have never made it without knowing where the channel was.

We are being called The Last Vikings but my hat really goes off to them they did not have a spot light or a GPS.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

It Can't Sink, It Can't Sink, It Can't Sink

It can't sink, it can't sink, it can't sink were the words going through my mind along with help us Lord Jesus, and trust your equipment. Bob is saying don't panic. He did not remember saying those words to me, but it actually helped me to remember not to panic.

Hugh waves are breaking into the boat, we are being pushed up on a shoal. The boat is full of water and if it is not tied down it is gone. The antenna has fallen, the T top dry box just bounced open and all my important papers are falling, the waves are pushing us up to the rocks that we can't see, it is pitch black out with a cloud cover, our spotlight is only good for a few feet because of the fog. We are scared, I am scared both for my life and for the mission, especially the mission.

A few minutes prior to this, I was driving, it has gotten dark and I am totally exhausted so I ask Bob to drive. He too is exhausted. We have just passed a light house on the outer Islands of Faroe. There is a small town there. We decide to go back to the small town to spend the night.

When we got back we can't find the harbor, because there is none. There are two large fishing boats not too far back; we decide to follow them in. Only they are too far away and they disappear. The waves are over 10 foot and it is black out. We see a couple of light houses in the distance, and Bob wants to tuck in behind an Island.

Suddenly the waves get much bigger and start breaking into the boat. In ten minutes a relatively calm rolling ten footers went to xxxxx. Ten minutes ago we had a better chance to follow two much larger boats, but they are both gone. Ten minutes ago we felt successful having reached the Faroe Islands, ten minutes. Now the waves are filling the boat. Bob still wants to find a way to get out of the storm. I want to get away from the rocks. I don't even know where they are, you can only see the outline of an Island. We both think the storm caught up with us.

I want to get out to the open sea. I will take my chances with the bigger waves, but not the rocks. Bob, let me take the helm, gladly. It won't sink, it won't sink, it won't sink. Don't panic. Don't panic, Help me Lord, help us Lord, please, Trust your equipment. Trust your equipment. I set a course back out. The boat is full of water, more waves are breaking. We are talking to search and rescue, we only want directions, they want information, and I don't want to change screens to give them the coordinates.

Can't get the boat straight, Bob climbs out to fix the antenna, waves are still breaking into the boat. It is pitch black out and it is hard to drive by GPS only. It is slow to respond, hard to starboard, hard to starboard, why won't this heading change, too far, hard to port hard to port. Waves are still breaking into the boat. Up and down. Suddenly there is a bright star or a planet. We lock in on our bearing. We get the boat straight, trust your equipment. Bob wants me to do something, can't take my eyes off the screen, suddenly we are spinning around again, don't know where the rocks are. There is the star, keep it on the right, starboard.

We are back out to open sea. The waves stop breaking. We get in the shelter of some islands. Wow, we are still going. The mission is still on!!!!

There is a helicopter with a spotlight in the distance. Are they looking for us? We get them on the radio, they were looking for us, it is Ok, and they go home. Do we wait for day light or try to make Torshavn tonight? Bob takes the helm. He gets us there. I try to sleep. So cold, so wet, I don't think anyone makes a suit for what we are doing.

The first person we meet in Torshavn is Linjohn Christianson. Get this he is the captain of the Akamalik, the STAR OF THE NEW DISCOVERY CHANNEL TELEVISION SERIES, MIGHTY SHIPS, a Greenland Icebreaker Fishing Ship. What are the odds? He invites us over for a shower, a nap, and breakfast. I am writing this from his daughter’s computer.

Mine, well, both dry boxes got full of water last night. Thank God Panasonic gave us a Tough Book, because, well I hope I can find someone to pull the hard drive from my new anchor because that is all it will be good for. It is now time to go into full use of that Toughbook, it still works.

When I turned this one on, we were already on the home page of the Faroe Islands

God bless

Friday, August 21, 2009

We Are 104 Miles From The Faroe Islands. Waves 10 to 12 Foot And Getting Bigger ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
We are still 104 miles northwest of the Faroe Islands. We are still trying to beat the storm. The waves have kicked up to about 10 to 12 foot! They are still coming out of the southwest while we are going southeast. They are not helping us any at all. As a matter of fact they are hurting a little bit. It is kind of neat to see these big waves coming at us from the side. It is keeping us from going real fast. We have to go slow. But we are fine. We just hope to beat the storm.
We will talk to you later.
God bless
Bye

We Are 135 Miles From The Faroe Islands. Bob and I Are Both Soaked From Head To Toe From Rain And Waves ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Good morning. We are still trying to outrun the storm! We are heading southeast and 135 miles outside the Faroe Islands. The waves are coming out of the southwest at approximately 4 to 6 foot with an occasional 9 to 10 foot wave. It is kind of choppy out, kind of mushy. You cannot make good time in this at all.
Bob and I are both soaking wet from head to toes from both rain and waves. It is raining off and on. Waves are splashing over the front of the boat.
We will talk to you later. Thanks for following. Buy the way, please tell your friends.
God Bless. Bye

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please Pray - We Are Trying To Outrun The Storm And Get To The Faroe Islands ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
We are 250 miles from the Faroe Islands, black as all get out, trying to outrun the storm. We cannot see where we are going, trying to outrun the storm, oil light flashing on and off. It has been flashing for hours. All is well. We are just trying to outrun the storm!
Talk to you later.
God Bless You.

Another Miracle ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Last night was one of those weird ones. Yesterday afternoon we were late leaving Reykjavik harbor, surprise, surprise, surprise. It’s hard to leave when we meet so many good people and make so many nice friends. Before we left we stopped to return the keys at Brokey yacht club and there were some guys there from US who donated $200.00. We want to thank them for donating towards expenses etc, etc.
When we went to get gas, they wouldn’t take our credit card, they only take certain credit cards and that you can get. So then we were able to use that $200.00 that was donated, imagine that….to pay for gas, that was just enough gas to get to the island where we were not going to stop at but we had to stop at anyway, we almost were not going to stop anyhow, but before that the oil light came, not the change oil light, so we stopped anyway and everything was fine. We think it is just a lose wire. But we stopped and checked everything out on this island and there was this guy with a fancy camera that took lots and lots of pictures. He never said he was a photo journalist, but we sure think he was. It was one of those opportunities we needed to make. We just left Westmen Island full of gas, going very smoothly, weather is beautiful, rolling breeze, four footers, calm seas, absolutely gorgeous, and beautiful. We also know we are just ahead of the big storm. The storm is coming up behind us.
It’ll take us a couple of hours burning off enough gas before we can go faster, we will be putting along at 8-9 mph heading toward Faroe Islands. We’ll get there tomorrow around noon give or take; it depends on how we beat the storm. We should be seeing some big seas. We might get that chance. We’ll talk to you later; have a great day, and God Bless.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Icelandic Storms

There is a storm brewing and we need to beat feat to the next stop, Vestmann Island. We are trying to get to Faroe Islands then on to London. There is so much more I want to say about Iceland and the people we met here. Icelandic Seafood is coming on as a minor sponsor and 66 North is providing some tremendous fantastic cold foul weather gear as well as quality boots and gloves. We sure could have used these in Greenland.

We have been here trying to do two things, one find enough capital to finish the trip and two wait out a storm. Interstate Battery made another donation of $7,500 which we are grateful for and should cover the fuel cost for the rest of the trip and Icelandic Seafood Group is also helping us.

We are still in need of some more sponorship money!!!!!!!

We still need to get home after this voyage is over, and we are still praying that our families can come over and meet us in London. It has been a long somewhat exciting yet tiresome journey and we are looking forward to you joining us in this venture. Please tell everyone you know that might be able to help us help others. We have many little expenses that need to be met so please help if at all possible.

Then the major publicity should kick in and from that we should be able to promote the Do More Campaign in the manner it needs to be promoted.

The other issue is storms. Two are brewing back to back with a third not far behind. We figure if we get on the South side of Iceland, we can shoot between the storms to the Faroe Islands or even ride the leading edge of the storm if the waves are in the right direction. We don´t mind very large waves in the right direction. We just don´t want to use all our fuel fighting them again. If we wait another day we will be stuck here for at least a week. I have to admit this is a great place to get stuck, but we have to move forward.

Here is a link to one weather report for you to follow. http://belgingur.is/
and here is another www.stormsurf.com You will see how big the waves an wind will be if we don´t beat feat soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whale Watching

The next morning a politician came out to meet us, I will have to look up his name. Seemed like a great guy. Then we met Rannveig and Vignir. They own Elding Whale Whatching Tours and quite a bit more.

http://www.elding.is/

Not only are they smart business people but they are very kind. We have been sleeping on one of their whale watching boats (Small ship). They have even let us eat with their crew. They got this cook, Helga, she can cook. That weight I lost, I think I will find.

They have tours to the Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring, deep sea fishing, vocalno tours, and much more. This place has a lot to offer. One day I will bring my family here to see the country. It sure is nice to meet people like Rannveig and Vignir, successful and kind.

More about Iceland later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends

One of the things our team is trying to do is to get this story to grow viral. The I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage is a worthy cause to tell our friends. That is why I signed up for the tell your friend program on the front page. It automatically invited everyone in my address book.

If everyone does that WOW what growth.

First Impression of Iceland

I am glad I was here long enough to meet more people than the man from the 10-11, Iceland’s version of a 7-11, 24 hour store. From about an hour out to sea on the way to Iceland I had to use the restroom, WC for those Europeans who might be reading this. It was a sit down head call, for US Marines and Navy personnel. I was tired of using the 5 gallon bucket as well as tired of hanging my rear over the side of the boat.

We were almost to shore and I was looking forward to a real toilet. When we arrived we were directed by the Harbor Master to a public dock right next to the Icelandic Hydrogen sign, that is another really weird story. Customs showed right up as well as the Immigration Police. The police officer was super professional, I actually thought we were in some kind of trouble, then he ran up to his car and ran back down with a camera, can I take your picture? Sure,

We waked to a near by store and asked to use the restroom, he directed me to another store. It was after midnight and I tried to get into several restaurants and bars but I could not get in to use their restroom. By this time I had a real problem; it was fast becoming an emergency. I was about to soil my pants. I went into this 10-11, 24 hour store. Started looking for a restroom. I asked an employee if I could use the restroom, he said “Get Out”. I said please, I just came from America in a small boat and I need to use the restroom, it is an emergency. He said, “You are not in America you are in Iceland, GET OUT.” I said, please it is an emergency. GET OUT, please, I am begging you, His response, GET OUT, he looked like he was going to get violent, so I left thinking no wonder this country is in financial trouble if that is how they treat tourists. Tourism is one of their main industries. I think he thought I was a drunk. I looked red in the face from the sun and the wind, my eyes were red, I haven’t shaved in a week and I haven’t gotten my land legs back yet.

A few minutes later the manager at the Pizza Factory opened his store up and let me use it. Plop, Plop, Fiz, Fiz, oh what a relief it is.... I am so glad I stayed long enough to meet him and see so many other Icelanders. The vast majority are really great people.

Tonight we met Magnus who came by at midnight to show his kids our boat. Magnus is the star of Lazy Town a kids television show shown in 123 countries. He plays Spartacus, a super Hero. Here is what he said about our program.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Quitting is NOT AN OPTION





Click on the above pictures for a better view.
See We Eat and Drink Healthy,
This is the Internet Cafe we have been at. We will be eating there tonight. Thank you Hlynur (The Manager) It is called the Hressingarskalinn meaning the Refreshment Lodge or something like that.

I have been working most of the afternoon on emails, video, and contacts. I also have been trying to upload and embed two Islandic TV News Reports. I believe I will get them up tomorrow. When you see them you will notice a few things.

Note, we do not fear injury, Note we do not fear other problems, Like the heroes we seek to honor, WE FEAR FAILURE, WE FEAR DISHONOR. That is why it makes me so mad when I hear a politician trash our heroes who offer up their lives as a sacrafice to freedom. Your dishonor of our heroes is much more dangerous than an enemy ever was.

This is a Wounded Hero Voyage, not a vacation. It is a mission and an adventure. It is a World Record Voyage, it is not supposed to be easy. Do NOT feel sorry for us.

You will see we both have injuries, I have lost a ton of weight, (I needed to), I have cracked or bruised ribs, I have a cracked or bruised wrist, both of us have salt burns, both of us have numb toes and fingertips. Bob has swollen feet and a bruised knee.

Again, I say this to make it easy for those who know and love us. Understand Failure hurts much more than physical pain so please do not ask us to quit. In fact I ask you to stand with us and to help us.

By the way, we eat very well, just getting a lot more exercise than we are used to.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Can See Reykjavik Harbor In Iceland ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
LAND HOOOO! We have been watching Iceland for a while as we approach. I believe I can see the lighthouse in Reykjavik’s harbor. We should be on shore in about an hour or two.
We will talk to you later.
Have a great day and God bless.

We Got A Standing Ovation With Kids Swimming In Ice Water As We Left Tasiilaq Greenland ! ! ! Only 147 Miles To Reykjavik Iceland

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
As we left Tasiilaq Greenland yesterday afternoon a whole bunch of kids gave us a standing ovation and some of them jumped into the 35 degree water with icebergs floating everywhere and the kids were swimming in the icy waters to say good bye to us. Unbelievable!
Right now we are cooking some Quaker oatmeal for breakfast/lunch and we are approx. 147 miles northwest of Reykjavik Iceland we are leaving on super, super cold but beautiful country for one much warmer.
We’ll talk to you later, Bye and God Bless.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tasiilaq Greenland














Click on the above pictures for better viewing.

Tasiilaq Greenland is a town of about 1000 people located on the East Side of Greenland. The whole east side of Greenland is uninhabited with a few exceptions. It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Giant mountains come to the sea, with glaciers becoming Icebergs.

Seals, birds and whales roam while the thousands of icebergs float by. It is a 400 mile run between the town of Prince Christianson (Population 5) and Tasiilaq. There is an old US Air Station nearby that is used for an International Airport. Then you either come by boat or by helicopter. When you get to town the tourism department wants you to think there is only one hotel, but there are several.

Bob and I are from Florida where it is warm. On the 400 mile run from Prince Christianson we got rained on several times. It is a fine mist of rain that covers everything, our hands and feet were frozen. At that point it is very hard to sleep on the boat.

Even though we could not afford it, we broke down and bought a hotel room. This is only the third night we bought a room (several others were bought by people that we met), since the beginning of the trip, over 45 days. The Hotel Angmagssalik (arcticwonder.com) has two sections, one modern and one older where everyone shares a bathroom. We took the older one, it saves $50. When we checked out they gave us a 40% discount.

This trip is a one of faith as well as one of endurance, fortitude, and commitment. Last week when we were hundreds of miles from Canada and hundreds of miles from Greenland and not enough fuel to get to shore, the wind and the waves were howling and blowing against us. I have to admit I was afraid, not of death, but of failure. I fear failure much more than I fear any other outcome.

We had to consider all options.
One, let Canadian Search and rescue pick us up, NOT A CHANCE.
Two, let her drift, hopefully back to Canada, refuel and start over,
Three, throw the sea anchor and wait. We chose to do the third. Thank God, the wind changed to out of the North got very cold, but we were able to motor in (180 miles at about 4 mph) on the small motor getting better fuel economy. We arrived with about a cup of fuel left. It was a tiny town population of about 36, with the only fuel for 40 miles. A two day trip had turned into a six day, survival adventure.

As we continue to pursue the prize, Completion of the trip, and a chance for publicity to sell the Do More Shirts, and raise $3,000,000 or more for wounded hero foundations; we do so knowing that we don’t have enough fuel. We depend upon God and good people from all walks of life to join our cause, promoting heroes.

For a year and a half, Bob and I tried to get funding for this trip, without success. When the good people from I AM SECOND and Interstate Batteries offered some money, for the title position, at first we said, no, it was far less than we were asking.

After further consideration, we felt like a hero is someone who risks it all without knowing the outcome. If they knew the outcome they would not be much of a hero. If our voyage is to honor heroes, how are we better than them? We decided to step out on faith, risk it all. We accepted. We left without a lot of the right equipment and without enough money to finish the trip. We even had to borrow the boat on a lease purchase agreement. Yes, it is true that I built the boat, but I sold it. We decided to depend on God and good people from around the world. (Without the good people from “I AM SECOND” and Interstate Battery we would never have made it this far!)

I still believe that. We are moving on to Iceland today. Under the present conditions we will run out of money very soon. More than 10 million people have heard about our voyage, including Buckingham Palace. When we finish, this voyage, that number will grow significantly. I am amazed at the number of companies that make money off wars but said NO to the wounded hero. Yet, I am amazed at the number of people who want to help, even small children. A few have made donations of a few dollars to Al and Pat Hagen who donated $1,000.

If you decide to join our cause, by buying a shirt or making a donation every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine in the US, Canadian, British, and Danish military, thanks you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Despite Ice Everywhere Combined With Extremely Dense Fog We Have Made It To Tasiilaq Greenland ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
You should have been with us last night as we were trying to get into Kitak harbor. Kitak harbor was surrounded with icebergs, tiny chunks of ice everywhere. We had to go slow. In fact we shut off the main engine and we used the small engine to keep from damaging the main engine on ice. Ice was everywhere! We tried to get in from one angle. It was pitch black out, well not quite pitch black, but close though. It was real foggy out. We tried to get in from one angle and we could not get in. We tried to get in from another angle and we could not get it.
So we said, you know what, let’s just go, it is only 50 miles. We thought it was 50 miles but it turned out to be about 35 miles to the next city, Tasiilaq, and so we left.
We got to Tasiilaq and it was beautiful. It was an unbelievably beautiful drive, smooth as glass! The fog had cleared up completely. Then just outside Tasiilaq harbor we hit such a huge fog that we could not see anywhere. We came in real slow, looking everywhere, looking to the right, looking to the left, looking at the rocks. Then we saw lights. We finally found the lights! Suddenly the fog cleared, and we came in pretty quick. At About 3:00 in the morning it was broad daylight here, broad daylight! Then we tried to get in. We came in and we could not find a good place to dock. Eventually we did find a good place to dock.
Now we are in Tasiilaq harbor. We will spend the night here tonight. It is supposed to rain tomorrow morning, and then after it rains we are going to head for Reykjavik Iceland.
You have a great day, God bless you. Bye Bye

Monday, August 10, 2009

We Have Been Passing The Most Beautiful Property Ever With Tasiilaq, Greenland Only 105 Miles Away ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, we are about 105 miles south of where we are going in Greenland. We have been past about 500 miles of coast on the east side of Greenland. It is just the most beautiful property you have ever seen in your life! (Rest garbled and cut off and cannot be transcribed)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We Just Saw The Biggest Iceberg We Have Seen. Then We Met Another Journalist In The Middle Of The Ocean With Only 271 Miles To Tasiilaq.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi this is Ralph. We are 271 miles south of Tasiilaq which is also known as Ammassalik, our last stop in Greenland. We are heading up the coast. The weather has been pretty good today. It has rained quite a bit, but we have had some real calm seas. We made some good time.
We have just passed the largest iceberg I have ever seen! Now I have only seen a bunch of them for about 2 weeks. It was the largest one I have ever seen!
All is going well. We passed a vessel today coming south from Germany going to the United States. Were coming from the United States going to Germany! We stopped and talked to each other for a few minutes. He also turned out to be a journalist. What are the odds of that? Unbelievable! He is sending word ahead to Germany that we are coming!
You have a great day.
God Bless you. We will talk to you tomorrow.

We Have Asked President Obama To Declare 9/11 As National “Do More Day” ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, I just sent a letter to the world’s most powerful man, from the world’s smallest post office. Prins Christians Sund of Greenland has its own post office. It is out in the middle of nowhere on the south east corner of Greenland. It is a weather station and they have their very own post office.
We met them by 30 seconds to chance, unbelievable chance! We were leaving and just out of the corner of our eye we saw a person waving at us and we went back and talked to them. We climbed a huge pile of rock steps up to the top, went to the weather station, and checked emails. We sent the President of the United States an email and actually a post card from the world’s smallest post office.
We asked President Obama to declare 9/11 national “Do More Day”. Do more than just remember, actually do something! We want to do more, and that is what we are trying to do, to get everyone in the country to do, to do more than just say thanks to those that have paid such a price, to the firemen that gave their lives running into the burning buildings, to the police officers that gave their lives taking care of people getting out of the buildings, to the soldiers, the heroes, the warriors that have laid their lives down for us, and the families left behind and those who have been wounded in the process. We want to do more than just say thanks.
With that in mind we have left Prins Christians Sund and we will not touch land for 2 or 3 days on our way to Tasiilaq harbor also known as Ammassalik. It is just on the edge of the Arctic Circle and on the far east corner of Greenland.
We will talk to you later. You have a great day and God bless you.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

High and Dry



The German Cruise ship is gone. We pull around to get gas, benzine. It is very shallow. The hose is very, very, very slow. I have a satellite phone call to make. Bob is working on his book. I move to get a better signal. I do my radio Interview.

When I come back, I look down. Bob is working on his book, and the tide has gone out. We are high and dry. That gas pump was so slow we put it on lock and did other things, now we are stuck and have to wait for high tide.

A few women come to clean a seal next to us. Wow, how cool is that. One speaks English. We have time to kill and ask for internet access. She takes us to one house. They don't speak English.

They call their daughter in the big city to translate. She is a journalist for the Greenland televison and radio station. In a town of 50, almost no one speaks English. The slow pump, the satelite phone call, the tide dropping very fast, we are stuck, we are forced to take time. The one who speaks English takes us to the parents of the journalist, not for the journalist's purpose, but for the internet. They don't speak English, they call their daughter, the journalist in the big city.

What are the odds? Our story needs to get out.

Slammed by an Iceberg

Last night Bob and I were on our way to Aappilattoq, an Island on the Way to our last stop in Greenland, Tasiilaq. It was dark and the wind was blowing very very fast. Driving at night is very dangerous because of the small icebergs, grawlers as they call them. If you don't see them they could break your motor or sink some boats, not an Intruder. They don't sink, but we could break the motor.

After a while we took shelter behind an Island. We put out two anchors. We went to sleep. Bob on top of the bean bag wedged behind the helm. Me, on the back of the boat in the surf board bag. It is semi waterproof and semi warm. I was sleeping with two pairs of socks, a survival suit, the Interstate Battery Jacket, a seperate jacket liner, three pairs of pants,gloves, my Interstate Battery Hat, a hood, and a shirt on. I completely zip it up around me except for a tiny air hole. I am sawing logs, sound asleep.

Suddently we got whacked, by an Iceberg. I did not hear a thing. Bob jumps up pulls the anchors, drives around the Iceberg and throws the anchors again, I am still asleep, sawing logs. I wake up, he is runnning the motor a long ways, the wind is howling, water is blowing everywhere.

He threw the anchor again, and a sharp rock cut the rope. We were adrift in heavy Iceberg territory. I jump to the helm, after climbing out of my cacoon. We find a new shelter in a cave. Set one anchor on a cliff and tie the other rope to a rock.

Back to sleep. Then whack whack. We are up against the rocks, the wind and the waves are howling. We are in a hugh wind tunnel with gigantic mountains on both sides. The anchor had pulled loose.

We both jump up, Bob a lot faster. We are afraid to start the motor because of the rocks that we can't see. I pull out a flag pole and push offshore. The flag pole gives way. Wham, we are up against the rocks again, Thank God this boat is built strong.

Bob gets the biger flag pole out, thank God for Bob. He is much quicker on his feet than I, and much handier. We push off shore a little. I jump to the helm get the motor started. We are in full reverse trying to pull away from the rocks. The other rope is still tied to a rock. I drive in dropping Bob off. Full reverse again to get away from the wind and the waves.

He gets the rope loose. I pull in he jumps on.

Light is starting to come up. We drive to Aappilatoq. We go into the harbor. It is still very early. We can't find a dock. We tie to a buoy. Back to sleep. I awaken to voices.

Half way awake, I unzip to find a cruise ship and a tender. There is a photo journalist for several German Magazines. He takes pictures of me climbing out of my cacoon as well as a bunch more. He loves our story. He is done and gone before 9 am, forever.

What are the odds, we were needed in Aapilatoq, a population of about 50 people to get our story out to Germany, before we get there. It is not done yet.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dodging Ice and Islands

Icebergs sink boats. They won't sink this Intruder 21, but they might damage the prop. That is why we are doging these icebergs, an growlers, small chucks of Ice.

Right now I am sitting in the home of two Greenlanders we talked into taking videos for us. You have to realize how few Greenlanders there actually are. But they all seem so friendly. We met them today on our way from Qaqortoq to Nanortalik. I had dropped Bob off on some rocks to take pictures of the boat in front of an Iceberg. Anders and Aani came by in their boat. We talked them into taking pictures for us. It is almost midnight and they are allowing me to sit in their home and update the blog in the city of Alluitsup Paa, on an Island in Beautiful Greenland. (Pop 300)

Everyone seems to have a hard time believeing that we came from Florida in this flats boat, it is only 4,400 miles. What is the problem?







Guess What Happened to my camera, Watch this one from Canada Coast. We call it 4000 miles in a flats boat. Kodak, shoud know this Camera still works.

Thousands Of Icebergs Everywhere ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Boy are we just flying fast through all of these islands at the south end of Greenland. People are shooting at something out here, I don’t know, I guess that they are hunting seals, we just heard BOOM, BOOM.
There are icebergs everywhere! I say that there are several hundred. Bob says that he thinks we have passed over a thousand! We have had to weave through icebergs right and left.
Just a few minutes ago I dropped Bob off on some rocks to take pictures of our boat passing in front of an iceberg with gigantic mountains right behind us. Unbelievable!
Every town we go to the people run out and say “It is impossible, no way you crossed the Atlantic in a boat that big!” But we are here! That is what they say. Anyways, we got extra warm cloths to stay warmer, warmer socks. I am still wearing my clog to keep most of the heat in. Things are going good. God bless you.
We will try to get to the internet tonight and upload some of these pictures and videos. Look forward to them later. Bye

We Are So Honored To Know All Of You ! Incredible People All Honoring Heroes !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hey, this is Ralph. We finally left Qaqortoq. Anyways, we are on our way to the city of Nanortalik! We will stop there tonight and take some pictures, etc. Nanortalik is in the middle of the south end of Greenland on its west coast.
It was hard to leave the last place. The line of people wanting to meet us was something, at the same time we were trying to load the boat, get fuel and finalize what we did yesterday, change the oil and all that kind of stuff. Everything went well, but we just finally left.
Those people were honored to help us honor heroes, even though they were not Americans, not Canadians and not British, because they were honored to help honor heroes.
The local newspaper reporter paid about $200 to the crane operator to pick up our boat and put it on land for us. We were just honored to be with all of the people wanted to honor. So many children lined up and had their parents involved. They brought their parents around to sign our Greenland flag. It was just unbelievable to be involved in! Again this is what it is all about, honoring heroes, and that is what we saw!
Thank you so much, have a great day and God bless you. Talk to you later.

Repairs Done ! Getting Ready To Leave Qaqortoq and head to Nanortalik Greenland

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi this is Ralph. We have been here in Qaqortoq Greenland basically for almost 48 hours. We arrived here the day before yesterday and we are getting ready to do our final load up and get going. We met a lot of nice people here. A lot of the kids came out and signed our Greenland flag, that was kind of neat, they all want to be heroes and we want to honor wounded heroes and that is very important thing to us. We have fixed the repairs on the boat that we needed to. We will no longer have our sacrificial skeg that we used to have, but it's all taking care of and the nice people at the Qaqortoq hostel have been very helpful to us and we are very, very grateful for that. In fact they are giving us a ride to the store right now. I hurt my hand a couple of years ago and it’s sore now in the same place, so I am looking for a support for it.
But things are going good the boat is good and all repairs made. We are ready to go, and so we're heading on out to Nanortalik, and then going up rivers that cut across the south part of the country. I guess its all part of the Atlantic Ocean, all these islands in the South of Greenland, and then coming out on the other side where there is a bunch of ice. Because of the ice we are going further south than we anticipated. From what I understand it is absolutely gorgeous. I will tell you more later. Thanks so much, have a great day and God Bless you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We Are Unbelievably Pleased With Our Boat ! Only Need Minor Repairs. Thank You To All !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, we got the boat out of the water today, we are doing an inspection. This boat is just unbelievable! With any other small boat like it, we would probably have died while we were out at sea working for 6 days to get through the storm. The boat just unbelievably held together. No stress cracks, no fractures, no problems whatsoever. It has become evident that we did hit a little tiny iceberg called a growler. It ripped off a sacrificial skeg that we have underneath the boat to protect the motor. It is completely gone, but it is designed to be sacrificial, and so it did its job just fine. We are unbelievably pleased.
There is a broad rail that has been damaged, but we know where that came from. That is when the alligator bit it when Pete Rostell was out alligator hunting. By the way, that is true, that is not a joke. I think that it was a 12 foot alligator that bit the side of the boat. Unfortunately that was after Pete captured the alligator and it ripped part of the rail off. So that it is damaged just like it was before.
The boat has just done unbelievably well. When you stop and think that we are in a flats boat, 6 days at sea, going through a major storm and we are totally safe. Just unbelievable! We never ever felt like we were in danger, even in the storm the boat handles just fine. We did discover that the skeg was ripped off, but we understand that was what it was designed for. We are pretty sure where it happened, but anyways the sacrificial skeg is gone. We will be fixing the little bit of damage from that being ripped off. That is what it is designed for. It is designed to be ripped off. The boat is perfect and we are grateful for that.
We are grateful for all of the people in Greenland that have been unbelievably nice to us. A local newspaper reporter paid for a crane operator to pull the boat out of the water! This was unbelievable kindness. People say: “I want to be a sponsor”, “I want to be part of this project”, ok, because people love heroes, and that is what we are talking about. We are talking about our heroes. Yes, John Harvey, George Holmes and Dewey Johnson are my heroes, but they are not necessarily yours. But again, we are grateful for all heroes, all policemen, all firemen, and all warriors that stand up for what is right and put their lives on the line, at risk all of the time. With that in mind, we are grateful for the “I Am Second” partners.
Boy, that boat looks beautiful out of the water! I am going to take more pictures of it and try to get some on line.
Thank you so much, you have a wonderful day and God bless you. Bye Bye

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We Finally Found Gas in Kagsimiut (pop. 47) WITH ONLY ONE QUART LEFT ! ! ! Now we are in Qaqortoq Greenland Recouping After 6 Long Cold Days At Sea !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, we made it! It took 6 days at sea on the Intruder 21. You know what; we were never scared about the boat, not one bit. We were concerned because of the fuel issue that we might have had to pull up anchor and drift back to Canada and start over again. But we didn’t have to. By God’s grace we were able to make it! We made it back; you won’t believe this, to a place where we bought gasoline with only one quart of gasoline left. I call that God smiling on us. Anyways, we made it safe. We get to see beautiful, beautiful country, mountains and icebergs everywhere. We have been here since early morning and are running around all over the place in this unbelievably gorgeous country. I saw the moon last night, so beautiful, wish my wife was here sitting next to me. It was absolutely gorgeous. It’s been an exciting time, yes we were very cold, and yes we were freezing cold. But you know that is what this adventure is about, that is what this mission is about. We were shaking cold, but we never doubted. We are so grateful that things worked out the way they did. Now we are going to recoup, actually I broke down and bought a hotel room. We are going to Tasilaq Greenland next and then on to Iceland.
Anyways have a great day God bless you, thanks for following our voyage.
Don’t forget about Wounded Heroes that’s what it’s all about, people who put their lives on the line. Could be a fireman, could be a police officer, in many cases it is a military person.
Thank you so much for your support of our wounded heroes. Thank you. Bye Bye

We Are In Greenland Which Is part Of Europe With Icebergs And Rocks Everywhere, But Still Have To Go Inland 20 Miles To Get Gas ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, Bob and Ralph are almost where we can get gas! It is 5:00 AM here in Greenland and 3:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. We are in Europe, Greenland is part of Europe! We are actually in between a bunch of icebergs and rocks. Every which way you can look are icebergs. Every way you can look is rock islands. We are almost to a place where we can get gas. We have been here for a while and we have to go to a place where we can get gas. Unfortunately it is almost 20 miles inland. So that is what we have to do and we are doing it at 4 knots. Anyways we will talk to you later. You have a great day. God bless you. Bye Bye

Monday, August 3, 2009

Only 46 Miles To Greenland And After 6 Days We Want A HOT, HOT, HOT Shower And Meal

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed – 2 calls combined)
Good morning this is Ralph. It’s been a long grueling night. It’s pretty out here, and the sun comes up about 3 AM. We traveled all night at 4 miles/hour and we are at 46.8 nautical miles from land. God is good to us, the seas are calm, waves about 2 foot, wind out of the north and we are happy with that. We are using our 9 horsepower motor and going slow for safety. We’ll talk to you when we get to Greenland. God Bless, have a great day.

When I get to town this tightwad cheap guy, me Ralph Brown is going to rent a hotel room and get into a HOT, HOT, HOT shower after 6 days on this boat. I love my brother to death, we get along great, no arguments or anything like that, but after 6 days we need to get off the boat walk around and get a hot, hot, hot shower and a hot meal.
Anyways we are safe and everything is going great. Our arrival is a little later than planned but all is well. Thank you so much! We’ll talk to you later. God Bless.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Only 78 Miles From The Greenland Shore!

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi, we are 78 miles from shore now, counting down, moving along at 4 miles an hour. Wind blocked out on both sides, keeping our arctic cold water friend out of our little bit of contained area we have, tiny little contained area. Anyway things are going well and we are safe.
Thank you and God Bless to all who are following us and helping us.
This is a no matter what, finish the cause, type of voyage.
Thank you so much and Good Bye.

Now In European Waters! ! ! Moving Forward At 4 MPH With “Only” 100 Miles To Go!

Ralph via Sat phone (transcribed)
Hi this is Ralph. We have just crossed over the 100 mile mark from Greenland. We are clearly in Greenland waters, which make it European waters! This means that we have crossed the ocean at this point in time! It’s still a long way to go to get there, a100 miles to Greenland.
We are using the 9.9 horsepower motor rather than our big motor because it gives us better fuel economy. We got off into seas that had bigger waves than the weather report said they were. We were going head on into some pretty good size seas and into strong winds and strong currents; consequently we just didn’t go anywhere. We put out our sea anchors and waited for better weather to come on in. Now with better weather we are coming on in. I guess that’s what we have been saying all along. It is seamanship that keeps us alive and keep things moving. I got to admit I was wondering if we were ever going to get better weather to come on in. God has now given us wind out of the North, even though I was praying for wind out of the Northwest; however wind out of North is better than out of East.
We are using our 9.9 horse power engine. It burns about three quarters of a gallon per hour and we are moving at 4 knots. When we started this process we had 60 gallons on board. That was enough to go for 100 hours at 4 knots or 400 miles. We don’t want to go that far at 4 knots per hour, we have around 100 miles to go and should be there tomorrow afternoon in Greenland, Lord willing and everything else going well.
We are grateful for everybody following us. All is well, we are very grateful for Cape Surf that provided us with a board blanket that makes a great windshield and a water breaker. It is also a water resistant sleeping bag, a really a good deal.
We are grateful for all the different people working so hard on our project. We are grateful for Bernie, Trey, Bruce, Renee, John, J.C., my wife Anne, Bob’s wife Jill, and all of those helping our cause. We are grateful for the kids putting up with us being gone so long. One of the things that keeps going through my mind is what are my kids doing? Now that we are 100 of miles from shore we are moving onward and forward to meet our goal.
Thank you so much for paying attention to us. Thank you to everyone involved. Thank you to Norm Miller and Interstate Batteries.

Moving Forward Again

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Good morning this is Ralph. We are moving again at a heading of 060 ENE (East North East). We are not going to get in for another day and a half but we are running at about 4.5 knots. We are moving steadily out there and are grateful for the opportunity to do so. You should see the contraption we got built here, we got a banner on one side of the console and we got a board buried on the other side of the console. One person sleeps on the bottom and the other is on top driving. This protects us when we get an arctic blast.
We are now using our 9 horsepower which is running good and giving us good gas mileage. We have a stick taped to the handle and we got it bungeed to the seat to lock it in place, and we are moving, moving good.
The last two days, lots of thoughts were going through my head, but the one thought now is that we are moving, moving good! I did have a kind of sickening feeling in my stomach that this was not going to succeed, but today those thoughts have been replaced by the belief that it’s going to be possible .God somehow is giving us the ability to complete our voyage and we are grateful for what He can do.
You have a great day, God Bless you. Bye Bye

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Forced To Anchor To Save Fuel. We Are Safe And Sound With 152 Miles To Greenland.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
First we want to make it very clear that we are safe and sound. We are also 152 miles off the coast of Greenland. At 3 AM our time or 1 AM EST this morning we picked up anchor and started moving forward about 90 miles before the wind/seas picked back up again. It is still against us, but not really bad, we could easily go on but we are very concerned about our fuel consumption and because of that we are dropping the sea anchor and are going to wait for calmer seas, or the wind at our back, otherwise we can sit for a couple of days if we have to.
The weather is supposed to change tonight, I don’t know if it will or not but it is supposed to. The last weather report wasn’t very accurate. When we left Cartwright Labrador we had 310 gallons of fuel on board which is more than enough to go 900 miles under normal conditions. However we are only going 600 miles and the wind and waves were supposed to be out of SE at 3-4 feet. Unfortunately, instead we had waves about 5-9 feet, a little bigger than that in some cases and strong winds out of due E, right in our faces the whole time which ate our fuel, so now we are very conscious of the fuel left and are waiting for the right weather to burn it. We have our sea anchor out to minimize our drift and we are going from there.
We are going to make arrangements for a fuel drop from a couple of different locations. If you have an idea and want to contact Bruce, we would like to hear from you. Bruce’s # is 408-829-4193.
Again I want to make it real clear we are safe and sound and secure.
Thank you so much.
Have a great wonderful day and God Bless you.
Bye for now.

We Are FREEZING As We Near Greenland ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed - previous call at 5:39 PM was imposible to hear)
Hi, I just wanted to remind the people waiting in Greenland right now, the waves turned to us. We wintered up. Anyway we are freezing!
Thanks and bye