Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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.