BWCA BeaV's Alaskan video - Part 13- The Bering Sea Coastline (contd) Boundary Waters Group Forum: BeaV's Trip to Alaska
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OneMatch
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12/20/2014 05:24PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
39:59 in length

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B3r1ng

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One more on the way! Paddle To, Through and Around Alaska - Part 13- The Bering Sea Coastline (contd)
 
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Alan Gage
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12/20/2014 05:51PM  
quote OneMatch: "35:30 in length

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Kvlchak

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One more on the way!"


Link missing.

Alan

 
OneMatch
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12/20/2014 06:12PM  
Sorry, as it turns out, Part 13 isn't ready yet. Hang on.
 
OneMatch
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12/20/2014 10:26PM  
bump

Part 13 is completely viewable now.
 
Savage Voyageur
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12/20/2014 11:25PM  
I just am amazed at every one of these videos. That Bearing Sea looks like it could chew you up and spit you out any time it wanted to. Too bad about your hat, I was getting to like that thing.
 
bbrown6057
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12/21/2014 01:51AM  
You are one determined man Bob. What you accomplished is unbelievable to say the least. I bet your everyday life is boring as hell to you now that you did this. What's next, a little hike around the moon? :-)
 
12/21/2014 02:57AM  
1 week later-- Aug 15th. I can only imagine what happened during that week.
This episode is my hands down favorite.


at approx 18:00 minutes-----
Are you Alive? "Whoa-- But I made it through there, WHOA Whooooa HOOO!!" "Tell me how does it feel to be ALIVE?" "Feels good to be Alive!!"

Awesome!! I will never listen again to "Fade to Black" and think of anything different.


I wouldn't be caught in a decent sized fishing boat in those seas like you had right before/during your capsize going around Tongues Spit- even while listening to Metallica's Fade to Black.
On an earlier thread ( I believe it was the Chilkoot one) someone asked you why you had the bolt in your cap. I always thought it was to remind you that you are (the) NUTs. :O)

An experience that will likely never be duplicated by any human that stays alive long enough to document it. So very blessed to witness this event from my home computer. Thanks to all involved!!!



 
KarlBAndersen1
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12/21/2014 04:33PM  
"I'm alive!!!!!!"
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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12/21/2014 08:21PM  

Beav, you are definitely an able bodied seaman. You and your canoe have gone where others fear to tread.

This was an amazing segment. When you were finally able to beach out of the mud flats was a relief to this viewer. The conditions of the tidal flats would have been enough to drive a strong man crazy. But then encounters with the angry seas......... where do you keep that hidden supply of determination and courage?

Hated to see you lose that hat. It was a very crusty hat. It had much character and went well with the beard and that far away look in your eye..............paddle on
 
12/22/2014 12:32AM  
Holy (expletive deleted)
 
12/22/2014 03:52AM  
I totally understand that I'am being a Monday morning QB (and then some)-- I have no CLUE what-so-ever it was like on the Bering Sea. Just a question. Would it have been possible to portage over Tongues Spit say a few miles closer to mainland (island or whatever) to stay out of the puckerbrush (high seas)-- or not??? Maybe Tongues Spit was stepper and rougher looking then I imagine-- and imagination is all i got-- just asking.
 
12/22/2014 03:25PM  
quote WhiteWolf: "1 week later-- Aug 15th. I can only imagine what happened during that week. "
The worst of the tidal mud flats and the Kuskokwim River were crossed during this week- YUK! Too dangerous/nerve racking to film and hence, almost no video. Just a blank spot in the Movie. I copied the story of the Kuskokwim River crossing from a previous post here for those that didn't see it.

August 13th, 2013:
My biggest crossing last year on the trip was 22 miles at the mouth of the Kuskokwim River/Bering Sea. Which if you follow my tracks ended up being 27 miles due to the dynamic nature of river current and waves versus tidal currents. Every change in course was something bad happening.



The above map is the same map I used on the trip (less the blue teardrop thingys that are my trail markers from the InReach tracking device). The red line was my proposed route with mileage at 10 mile intervals and the brown lines are what I thought were tidal mud flat edges. As I left camp that morning, you can see I had to get out 4 miles from shore to clear the flats. I was supposed to then head north upriver. I was so far out that I decided to change the plan and head across- risky but would save 40 miles of paddling and at least 1 day maybe 2. Somewhere along the way the wind picks up in my face producing waves bordering on dangerous. So I keep turning alittle more upriver to take advantage of the flooding tide and avoid waves directly on my bow. There is no time for rest or anything. I know the tide will be changing and once that happens conditions are going to likely get much worse. Time goes by really slow and progress seems to be even slower. Along the way I encounter odd downriver currents that cause the waves to be steep and white and eddy lines that jerk the boat. Toward the eastern shore I encounter a deep river channel through the silt and find more nasty surprises. I make it within a mile of shore only to be stopped by mud flats. Turn south and paddle along the edge of the flats in 12" of water. Mud flats won't let me get to shore. Tide is now going out and the mud flats will continue to grow and push me further from shore. Only chance to make it to shore is to try and find a small river channel in the murky water that will lead to a small river on shore. On the map, you can see I successfully found that channel just north of mile marker 500. Make it to shore at 8:30pm 11.5 hours of paddling later, relieved and wore out! Climb up a vertical 8' high mud bank to set camp. Don't like what I see for vegetation but have to camp. If you're interested, below is a short video clip of this campsite.

Kuskokwim River Delta Crossing

August 14th, 2014:
4:00am in the morning and wake up floating in 2" of sea water in tent. High tide is coming in and I'm not high enough and there's no higher ground. Quickly dress and throw sleeping bag, gear and tent into canoe. Throw anchor out and sit in canoe in the dark, Bering Sea water rising, raining hard, and mosquitoes swarming- some miserable. Sit there pondering the new predicament. What to do now. Two choices- stay put and face hypothermia or go paddling in the dark on the Bering Sea. After 1/2 hour only one choice left- go paddling.

Sorry for being so long but that's the story of the Kuskokwim River delta crossing.
 
12/22/2014 04:22PM  
quote WhiteWolf: "I totally understand that I'am being a Monday morning QB (and then some)-- I have no CLUE what-so-ever it was like on the Bering Sea. Just a question. Would it have been possible to portage over Tongues Spit say a few miles closer to mainland (island or whatever) to stay out of the puckerbrush (high seas)-- or not??? Maybe Tongues Spit was stepper and rougher looking then I imagine-- and imagination is all i got-- just asking.
"
No problem, let's take a look at what I was thinking.
The day before (August 20th) I did exactly what you were thinking when I portaged over Asigyukpak Spit (see map near mile marker 670) that took me about 45 minutes.



Here's the story of the next day as I wrote it for my blog- "Seemed fairly calm in camp this morning but when I got on the water, I soon learned that was not case. Wind was 20 mph, making for some rough paddling conditions. Wind would be quartering from behind me and staying near shore would help with some protection.

Late in the morning, I approached what's called "Tongue Spit", which is a long sand bar that juts out into Hagemeister Straight about 6 miles. I had 2 choices: 1) stay along shore until I hit the spit and then be pinned there by the wind or 2) cut diagonally from shore crossing the bay to the far point of the spit. Cutting the corner had some risks as now I would be broadside to the waves and way out from shore, but this would allow me to get around the spit and keep on paddling into the afternoon. I chose to cut across, of course!

It was going good until about 3 miles out. The wind and waves continued to worsen. Now the bigger waves were 4 footers with occasional whitecaps. I hate big crossings on the Bering Sea! Made it to the spit after a couple hours of nervous paddling but I was short of the point. So now I'm paralleling the Tongue's shoreline, staying just out from where the waves are breaking and now the waves along here are bigger and steeper plus I'm fighting to make progress as I paddle quartering into them. I was just about to turn the corner at the end of the spit when a rogue wave, bigger than the rest, broke right on top of me. I braced for the impact as the rolling whitewater of the wave hit.. I successfully absorbed it but the wave kept me. It spun me around and accelerated me toward shore. I surfed for a good 30 feet before my bow plunged underwater, flipping me upside down."

Again looking at the map, I made the decision to cut across the bay near mile marker 690. This crossing was 8 miles and, of course, I couldn't see the land of the spit until 3/4ths of the way across. If I had known how bad the conditions were out in the middle of that huge bay, I wouldn't have tried it. But once in those conditions, I was committed to continue and I had been in bigger waves a number of times. I just don't like to be in that big of seas that far from shore.

I never considered portaging Tongue Spit because as you can see by the google earth image, it's very wide toward the north and the entire spit on that day was big surf pounding in and no safe way to land a canoe. The video does not show how big this surf was because the footage of me coughing up seawater after the capsize was shot after I pulled my canoe to a more protected zone around the spit.
 
MacCamper
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12/27/2014 05:56AM  
Often I find myself holding my breath in the midst of your challenges. Incredible, simply incredible. Too bad about your hat, but thankful you made it back to share this story of determination with us.
 
01/10/2015 11:14PM  
This may have been my favorite episode yet! What you put yourself through makes the BW seem like child's play. Reading the letter of the "Anonymous Alaskan" describes exactly what you went through except the part where he had never met BeaV and the drive you have.
 
DrBobDg
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01/12/2015 06:35AM  
I had recently finished watching season 4 of "The deadliest catch" series from the local library. And then there is you out there in that same puddle....not January or February but still a bad puddle.
Maybe Verlen Krueger helped keep you alive out there.
drbob
 
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