An unusually strong area of low pressure about 700 miles north of Barrow will only very slowly weaken through the middle of this week. The low will bring west winds of around 25 mph to parts of the arctic coast, and may cause some sea ice to move south to the coast between Barrow and Wainright. – US Weather Service Forecast Alaska for Aug. 6, 2012
The Arctic Ocean was pretty mad the night before last, winds whipping up and frothing the icy waters along the coast near the village of Wainwright.
I went down to the bank in the morning with Harry. We drove a Suzuki 4-wheeler and pulled around a little cart that is used to haul whatever gear Rich needs to move around. Harry wanted to see if the water was hitting the banks (it was); I wanted to dream about putting my packraft in the breaking waves and play around (I wasn’t going to). But I’m not brave enough to do that on my own.
Harry yelled at a couple of kids who were playing near the bank. “Go home! What are you doing here! This is dangerous!”
The waves were smaller than what Andrea and I surfed in Pacifica (way back when I was a Californian), but they were all over the place and the wind… the wind was acting like a drama queen, bending this way and that, erratic and wild and untamable. We then drove over to the Kuk Lagoon to see what the waves looked like there and surprisingly, while there were white caps, it wasn’t as bad as we thought.
Harry’s sons are upriver at a cabin, fishing and hunting for caribou. They left Friday night before the storm moved in. It’s Monday morning and I wonder if they came in last night.
The winds are supposed to blow all week. It’s making trouble for Shell’s plans to drill wells this summer in the Chukchi Sea.