August 24, 2019
The blow blew itself out overnight, but weather has continued to be unsettled. Today, strong winds from the SE, rain and a heavy, ragged cloud. In the morning I shifted Mo to the pier in town for fuel only to find the wind increasing still and the pier foaming with chop.
Thinking I could dinghy in for fuel, I anchored near town and just off where Amundsen’s Maud came to rest so many years ago. But the berth was too small, and it felt unwise to leave the boat in such blustery conditions.
So, back we went to our original anchorage in the W Arm. Down came the dinghy and from there I motored with jerry cans to the tank farm. No one there. I hiked to the airport and called a cab.
“Where can I fill diesel?” I asked the driver.
“At the tank farm,” he said. “They’re open till five.”
“I was just here; no one home.”
“So no problem, we’ll go to the filling station in town.”
“No diesel here,” said the attendant.
“Wait, you don’t sell diesel at the filling station?” I asked.
“Not since a water truck took out the pump last year. Go to the tank farm. They’re open till five.”
“Can we get there before they close?” I asked.
“Not a problem,” said the driver, stepping on it.
We pulled up at the tank farm at 4:50pm. A sign on the door read, “Closed all day due to technical difficulties.”
Back at the boat, I attempted to salvage a lost day by doing an oil and filter change. Now, except for fuel, we are ready for the next leg.
But the weather forecasts continue to be contrary. SW and W winds, often strong, all the way into the future and all the way to Point Barrow. I really don’t know how we will get there in time.