Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Vincent Nageak, Sr., Interview 2

Vincent Nageak, Sr. was interviewed on September 27, 1979 by Ronald Metzner in Barrow, Alaska. The interview was for UAF researchers Dr. Lewis Shapiro and Ron Metzner on the project Historical References to Ice Conditions Along the Beaufort Sea Coast of Alaska (Scientific Report, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1979). In this interview conducted in English, Vincent Nageak talks about ice conditions and the effect of wind in the area of Cape Halkett, Cape Simpson, Harrison Bay, Thetis Island, Cross Island, and Barter Island. He talks about ice push-up events (Ivu), whaling activity, traveling by dogteam across the ice by Cape Halkett in late spring, and the ship Lady Kindersley getting trapped in the ice. Nageak was also interviewed for this project in Inupiaq on May 25, 1978 (ORAL HISTORY 97-64-09).

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 97-64-10

Project: Sea Ice Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Sep 27, 1979
Narrator(s): Vincent Nageak, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Ronald Metzner
Transcriber: Karen Brewster
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Ice condition around mouth of the Colville River, Harrison Bay, Thetis Island, and Cape Halkett

Ice push-ups (Ivu)

Presence of whales along northern Beaufort Sea coastline and islands

Water, wind, and current

Dangerous conditions and unsafe place for boats near Barrow

Ice piling up and safe harbor for ships in the Cape Halkett and Thetis Island area

Crossing the ice near Cape Halkett by dogteam in late spring

Lady Kindersley ship getting stuck in the ice and working to get it unstuck

Whale landed at Point Barrow and ice pilot

Ship getting stuck when not listen to what told about ice conditions and rescue

Loss of life on the ice

Ice taking away islands

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Transcript

VINCENT NAGEAK: Better to have a -- That point right here.

RON METZNER: Yes. Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: There's two Eskimo Islands right here.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right around these.

RON METZNER: They might still be there. VINCENT NAGEAK: Uh huh,

RON METZNER: That they're just not named. They're just two -- two black spots. VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there.

RON METZNER: Might be them.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see that's -- that Colville River is right there. Mouth. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we used to travel. This goes on the ocean side. All the way through clear down to where.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Walk up -- down to Cape Halkett.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right on the point side.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. But you came out at this point from Sikulik? Where the water comes out sometimes, and sometimes to Cape Halkett. This was wintertime that you did that traveling?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, I've been traveling all over through that -- through that Harrison Bay, east part of it.

They call it Itqillik, this island right here.

RON METZNER: This little one?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Itqillik.

RON METZNER: Itqillik.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, above -- above -- above in there someplace. Right over here.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. And there's two islands. They came them Esk --

RON METZNER: Eskimo Island. VINCENT NAGEAK: Eskimo Island, yeah.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Have you seen the sea ice pushed on to islands?

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see on that -- from Cape Halkett up to Oliktok --

RON METZNER: Up -- Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: -- up to Thetis Island --

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: -- when they -- anyhow they're all there. In the summertime.

RON METZNER: How about in wintertime?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In -- when there's ice is coming in, you see you'll always have ice all the time. It always break out all the way through to the edge.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Way on the other side, you see.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Up right over this way. Thetis Island.

RON METZNER: Yes. Thetis Island to Cape Halkett.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Thetis Island. It's just -- because there's more -- very shallow right over here.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Down to Thetis Island.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. VINCENT NAGEAK: From here. At the mouth of the --

RON METZNER: Of the Colville? VINCENT NAGEAK: Colville.

RON METZNER: And that melts first?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Summer. VINCENT NAGEAK: But they got deep -- deep river in there.

RON METZNER:Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Try to find which way they are. I don't know how many was it. I never know it about that.

RON METZNER: Deep, deep channels?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: In parts of the --

VINCENT NAGEAK: But they always -- from here we always come to where (Inaudible) from Barrow got a big load on it, boat, we go to down to Thetis Island.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And when we get there we always go on the island mainland side.

RON METZNER: Right. Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Traveling all the way through.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I don't want to -- I can have a story about --

RON METZNER: I was wondering -- I was wondering if you've seen Ivu? (Phone ringing). Is Ivu right?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ivu?

RON METZNER: Ivu, yes. VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, that's --

RON METZNER: What's Ivu? (Phone ringing)

VINCENT NAGEAK: Piling ice. RON METZNER: Piling ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Piling ice.

RON METZNER: I see. Ok. Have you seen that on the islands in winter?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In this place? RON METZNER: Well.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Where have you seen it on the islands?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, on the island used to be -- you see that one is alright though. But,

on that side -- you see that island, you see right there, too. Cross Island.

RON METZNER: Cross Island, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We call them Little Cross -- Cross Island, we call them Eskimo. RON METZNER: Hm, mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ivu. You just want to know Ivu, about it, yeah?

RON METZNER: Right now, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, the young ice -- young ice always come when the ice come in west wind --

RON METZNER: West wind?

VINCENT NAGEAK: West wind always -- RON METZNER: Hm. mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: -- move around the young ice that's out there.

RON METZNER: This is in -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: On the islands.

RON METZNER: Inside?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Outside.

RON METZNER: Outside?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Outside.

RON METZNER: What time of year?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, all the way through all the islands from Barrow. From there, all the islands, you have Ivu. RON METZNER: Hm, mm

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ice is always coming in from the west wind. And east wind is coming up this way. RON METZNER: Hm, mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right on the -- this Cross Island, you see how used to stays in the middle of the ivu ice. Always stays in there.

RON METZNER: Always around it? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, around it -- always through this way and this way.

That was the islands always -- your island coming up. Piling the ice in there. I don't know how -- how did it piling on that -- started through here. It never stays in there in the fall.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Do you -- What time of year have you seen ice? Any special -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In the winter time. In the fall, too. But -- (laughs) I can't say a word.

RON METZNER: It's better with your teeth.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Not all the time. In the spring time -- in the summer time, the ice always -- the ice was not here.

RON METZNER: Yeah, it melts. Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, you got no ice around here, now.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's a true story. And sometimes we never had not much water on this place here, because a lot of ice around.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the ice, when it got a lot of ice and ice something like that, they always come right in.

RON METZNER: The ice in summer, it gets blown in?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Uh,huh. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Sometimes. Not all from the east side

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: There's a lot of ice up in the east side of Barter Island side.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The ice always comes right in.

RON METZNER: Gets blown in sometimes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. While there's young ice.

RON METZNER: Young ice. Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Even the heavy ice in there, too.

RON METZNER: In summer time or --?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In summer time.

RON METZNER: Summer time.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Because it was deep, you see.

RON METZNER: Yeah, it's floating. And continuing in the channels.

VINCENT NAGEAK: In that middle side, right here --

RON METZNER: Behind Cross (Island).

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here always are the whales in there, too.

RON METZNER: Always whales? Between -- VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Between -- between Narwhal (sic) Island and Cross Island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Back here?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Bowheads?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Bowhead.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Let me see. I -- I thought of that first, anyway.

RON METZNER: Now that's fall, right?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Yeah. When the whales come. Do you ever see whales here in the spring? Does anybody ever see --? VINCENT NAGEAK: No.

RON METZNER: Never in the spring?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never -- never in the spring.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Where's my Barrow (referring to map)

RON METZNER: Here's Barrow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Let me see. Harrison Bay and the islands in there. Big island, Cape Simpson.

RON METZNER: Cape Simpson.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the island -- RON METZNER: -- towards Barrow. VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there. That's the biggest island in there.

RON METZNER: This one, here? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Hm, mm. Just off -- across from -- maybe Marten Island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Marten Island.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right now, yeah. Yeah, you see, they used to -- one time -- they used to come right in inside that -- inside that water in there, too.

RON METZNER: In this island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Used to come in?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Inside the -- right here, too. Sometimes.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Ice -- ice would come in?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I mean the whale.

RON METZNER: Whales? Whales? Right here? Between -- VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. Inside.

RON METZNER: Wow. When did you see that? That's amazing.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see the -- one time like -- I know it myself. Some -- two -- two whales in the -- one time in summer.

RON METZNER: That was between like Tapkak and -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right -- right here.

RON METZNER: Right there? VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. RON METZNER: Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And one time we were -- we was alone, one boat.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: And we got a whale right in there, too.

RON METZNER: You caught a whale, right there? VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there.

RON METZNER: By Tap -- Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. You see there's lot of whales coming up. We saw first one whale right there. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And it start to --

RON METZNER: -- dive.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Go start to move away.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Soon as -- soon as it dive away all the whalers heading -- heading to that point. RON METZNER: Spot. Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I -- I try to count them in there but up to 40, I all them mixed up. When this whale coming up, it just float. Not move around.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Open their mouths and just start to eating. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there.

RON METZNER: Right there. What -- what year was that, do you remember?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I didn't ever -- I didn't --

RON METZNER: How old were you, do you remember?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I don't know how old and married was.

RON METZNER: Were you a young man?

VINCENT NAGEAK: But I know it. I'm -- I'm working for Sam Taalak.

RON METZNER: You worked for who then?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Sam Taalak.

RON METZNER: Sam Taalak?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, right here someplace.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Was he -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I forgot his -- I can't remember what time it is. But I asking everybody alright, but -- we got whale right there.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the whale is coming above this way, from the east side.

Those in sight, they're joined together, start to eat.

I -- That's the only one whale is spotted. A lot of food for the whale, maybe?

RON METZNER: Yeah. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And they holler. I didn't hear it, but they come to -- fast as they can come.

RON METZNER: Right there?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, and we start to strike the whale.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The whale is coming up, coming among us, coming from the ocean side, and right close to the --

RON METZNER: -- these islands?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Close to the island.

RON METZNER: Yeah, just up from --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: -- just east of -- of Point Barrow. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And at the -- on this side, even the Cape Halkett --

RON METZNER: This is -- this is Cape Halkett.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I mean in Cape Halkett. Cape Simpson.

RON METZNER: Cape Simpson, here.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We never see any whale around this place.

RON METZNER: You never see any --?

VINCENT NAGEAK: How come?

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, in the summer time.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: When it's started from this island here.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We always try to make a land out to Thetis Island.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Sometime in -- sometime the river was current strong and it just floats away.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: A boat while he was working he always out of the way.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And when I saw a color -- color water.

RON METZNER: The change -- VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: In the water?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Each color water right in the middle someplace when I found it.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: This side is river -- mainland color and this is --

RON METZNER: Is ocean color. VINCENT NAGEAK: Ocean side. Fresh, something like that. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I told them you have to go over to the mainland side.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Because we are --

RON METZNER: Too far out.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The current is beat us.

RON METZNER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: From this part here. And he always (Inaudible) that island.

RON METZNER: Right, right, right. It would --

VINCENT NAGEAK: You have to watch the current.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Current pretty bad this way. West wind will -- west wind current come right in there, too. Or east wind --

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The ice -- If there's new ice.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. VINCENT NAGEAK: That current always strong.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But we never flew south when the current was strong.

RON METZNER: Right, right, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's the way it goes -- I know that. I learning myself some by the Eskimos, too, what they're saying. In that mouth.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But Thetis Is -- I mean, Cape Halkett --

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: -- was always do down there someplace.

RON METZNER: Was always further out?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Out. Yeah.

RON METZNER: Yeah, into the -- into Harrison Bay than it is now? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: So, it's eroded back, maybe? Or --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Or at least it's washed away some of it.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we did that already. East side of Barrow.

You see, when I -- the Barrow side, on this side, right on the Barrow --

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: They don't -- they told us not to stay in there for a while when the ice in.

RON METZNER: When the ice is in?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Because the current is getting strong.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Try to break all the ice in there, too.

RON METZNER: Make big piles?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: On the Barrow?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. RON METZNER: -- this side, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That is dangerous place for the boat.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. VINCENT NAGEAK: I mean ship. Even ships.

RON METZNER: When the ice is coming in -- ? VINCENT NAGEAK: Ii.

RON METZNER: -- against the coast?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. I don't know --

RON METZNER: How about in winter time?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Do you get big piles?

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see the -- I'm -- One of the Pedersen -- call him Peder -- Captain Pedersen --

RON METZNER: Yes. Captain Pedersen.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, you know it.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You heard it? RON METZNER: I heard of him.

But I haven't heard your story. I've heard of him.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He used to come right -- before the old ice break out.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right on the Barrow side. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the Point Barrow side. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Before the break out, he always come. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the -- some of the whalers -- I mean the boat -- ship, always following him, too, because he knows that ice right there.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Soon as he get there in the Barrow, he never -- never stop when the ice comes in.

RON METZNER: He kept going?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never -- Yeah. Never stop trying to get into the other side of the Point (Point Barrow).

Right over this the other side. The Point. Nuvuk. He always goes -- come -- going up to the mainland side.

RON METZNER: Yeah, of these islands? Or just this side of the Point?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Now. Yeah, just a little bit outside.

RON METZNER: Okay. So that --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right on the -- this point, he'd always anchor right there someplace.

RON METZNER: For protection?

VINCENT NAGEAK: But why. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: There's a -- When they're frozen like that -- Out there foxes coming out after he see it -- ice. Ice berg. Ivu. Ivuniq, something like that. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: After they saw it, they always start to come right in straight -- straight land. Try to go through that.

RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And they coming out -- he never --

RON METZNER: Come along these islands?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Never's trouble.

RON METZNER: Past -- past Cape Simpson and on --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. They always stop in at the --

RON METZNER: Head east. Isuk? Cape Halkett?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, Isuk. Yeah. Cape Halkett. They used to stop right there, Cape Halkett.

RON METZNER: Right. Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And ice, when they got young ice, ice is coming up. Ice solid right there.

RON METZNER: In Harrison Bay, it was solid?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. And when the winter time -- when it getting thick, you know, always to floats out. RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: It piling, piling up, piling out itself. Straight line down to Thetis Island.

RON METZNER: And so, from Halkett --

VINCENT NAGEAK: From -- from here.

RON METZNER: From this point in the middle of Harrison Bay. VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, yeah.

RON METZNER: It would pile from there over to Thetis Island --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: -- in a straight line?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Straight line. You -- because there's -- there's shallow all the way there. So when they --

RON METZNER: It's shallow?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. There's only one -- one fathom. Three feet, anyways.

RON METZNER: Yes. Uh huh. VINCENT NAGEAK: Once -- on the way through. Boats never go through.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Now, this -- this ice that would pile, from here to here, that was what -- VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: -- what time of year?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: When?

VINCENT NAGEAK: He always break out all the ice out float first. RON METZNER: Okay. That --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Then it start to come in and piling, piling itself again.

RON METZNER: Okay, so it would go out and then come in and pile on that island.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Because it's sha -- this part is --

RON METZNER: Is shallow?

VINCENT NAGEAK: No -- little bit --

RON METZNER: Grounded, maybe? VINCENT NAGEAK: This part is shallow.

RON METZNER: Frozen to the bottom?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And this part is very deep. RON METZNER: Okay. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never grounded ice right on the middle side.

RON METZNER: Okay. How -- what time of year did you see that? Was that like in January or -- or February?

VINCENT NAGEAK: April.

RON METZNER: This is -- this is -- or we're talking about summer?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: We're talking about summer? So you're talking about ice that grounds there in summer?

VINCENT NAGEAK: If there's no ice broken there, it always break out.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: In that -- in that general area and sometime in -- close to April, too, somewhere around. It's always break on the -- right through here.

RON METZNER: In -- in

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, flows out this way or this way.

RON METZNER: Okay. Then comes back?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never. But the other ice comes back.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Which -- which other ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see it always -- always floats away. It break out.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: Never coming back. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: No ice coming up this way. It get right there.

RON METZNER: So, you're saying --

VINCENT NAGEAK: It get solid in there again. And when the west wind come, water getting high.

RON METZNER: Yeah. West wind brings high water.

VINCENT NAGEAK: High water coming up.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the ice always was going to push away again. Right on the -- right on the edge of that iceberg. Icebergs float out too sometimes. Part of it never floats out.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, my wife and I was cross that.

RON METZNER: When? What time of year?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In the spring time? (in Inupiaq asks his wife, Rhoda, what year?)

RHODA NAGEAK: 44.

RON METZNER: '44? RHODA NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: In the spring time?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Spring time.

RON METZNER: Was that like March or -- ? RHODA NAGEAK: No.

RON METZNER: No. June?

RHODA NAGEAK: We crossed that in June.

RON METZNER: Okay. And you went from where to where in June?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: You went from this point?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. From -- RHODA NAGEAK: From Barrow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We start to make a straight line from Cape Halkett.

RON METZNER: Cape Halkett, okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We grounded right there someplace.

RON METZNER: Were you in -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: It was pretty bad. Rough. Pretty bad trail, you know.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Dogsleds?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Right here.

RON METZNER: So you -- so you went --

VINCENT NAGEAK: All the time fog.

RON METZNER: Fog. Lots of fog.

VINCENT NAGEAK: All that water fog something like that. Never -- we never be it. Never stop.

RON METZNER: So you went from -- from Cape Halkett -- ?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, Cape Halkett. And we're going up to play someplace here. Grounded. It was just only one -- three feet deep water.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: It was right there someplace.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And when we touch that, we're going up there. Move out of the way.

Finally we make fire over one week. Over one week. On this part up to -- going up toThetis Island on that side. We didn't hit any Thetis Island in that. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we're going -- going on to this place here. Pingo -- RON METZNER: Pingok Island.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Pingok Island. We just grounded out there.

And we're going over to Beechey Point.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: There it is.

RON METZNER: It's over here. Thetis -- Pingok Island.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Pingok Island. And we try to make it -- it just melt the ice around, too. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But you make it. You grounded. And we going up to --

RON METZNER: Beechey Point's here.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We go up to -- try to go in up there and we got a camp right here again.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Another camp here on --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yes. RON METZNER: -- on Bodfish Island.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Melted ice all the way through the oceanside ice. Tries to follow in the -- safe -- safe ice, see if we can -- And we're grounded there, and going over to the Beechey Point. Right there.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. And you were -- you were going to Beechey Point by dogsled?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Dogsled.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. VINCENT NAGEAK: In the spring time.

RON METZNER: And you camped on grounded ice? Or on --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, we used to camping on the grounded ice.

RHODA NAGEAK: Four days.

RON METZNER: Four days? From Cape Halkett to Beechey Point, four days. Uh huh.

RHODA NAGEAK: No. RON METZNER: No? Four days from -- ?

RHODA NAGEAK: Four days from along Tapqak.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here.

RON METZNER: Here. Let's see. Here's -- here's Cape Halkett. This point here. Thetis Island. And here's -- Oliktok would be here.

RHODA NAGEAK: Oliktok.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. Oliktok. Asii uuva.

RON METZNER: These are too small to read easy.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Wait a minute, wait a minute. There it is. (Inupiaq)

RHODA NAGEAK: This right here. VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there. We were grounded right there.

RHODA NAGEAK: Four days.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here. That little bit island. Thetis Island is over that side.

RON METZNER: Right. RHODA NAGEAK: Right here.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Now -- now

RON METZNER: Okay, so we went -- you went from --

RHODA NAGEAK: Cape Halkett

RON METZNER: Cape Halkett to Thetis to --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here.

RON METZNER:This island across from Beechey Point.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RHODA NAGEAK: (Inupiaq)

VINCENT NAGEAK: (Inupiaq)

RHODA NAGEAK: (Inupiaq)

VINCENT NAGEAK: (Inupiaq)

We landing right here.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. On the --

VINCENT NAGEAK: From Thetis -- Cape Halkett.

RON METZNER: But four day trip all together? RHODA NAGEAK: Hm mm. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

RHODA NAGEAK: A lot of water.

RON METZNER: A lot of water. On the ice, lots of water?

VINCENT NAGEAK: My worries, kinda scared. You see at that time, but uh -- RHODA NAGEAK: We never eat.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I tell them not to scared.

RON METZNER: Afraid to eat?

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we landed right there.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We get over to Beechey Point.

RHODA NAGEAK: After four days, the ice out.

RON METZNER: Four days, after you landed? RHODA NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: The ice went out? That was close.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The whole thing.

RON METZNER: At Thetis?

VINCENT NAGEAK: The beach and ocean side -- lagoon sides. Everything ice is floats away.

RON METZNER: Everything floated away?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Three days after you left. That's about --

VINCENT NAGEAK: The beach. When they landed.

RON METZNER: About July 1st. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But our parents from Barter Island.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He try to find us where we are. Because we have to going back in the safe -- safe time.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Travel from Barter Island.

RON METZNER: He came over by --?

VINCENT NAGEAK: My father or he's --

RHODA NAGEAK: My father's --

RON METZNER: Yeah. RHODA NAGEAK: He --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Akootchook RHODA NAGEAK: -- brought us.

RON METZNER: On a dogsled?

RHODA NAGEAK: By the boat.

RON METZNER: With a boat. Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: By the rounds, you see. He go like -- RON METZNER: Beechey Point. VINCENT NAGEAK: He would go over to the Beechey Point.

RON METZNER: Why were you -- why were you doing it by dogsled? That late?

VINCENT NAGEAK: The oldest guy used to be traveling on the ocean side there.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He said, "Vincent, how did you come here?"

RON METZNER: Yes, uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, I just -- RON METZNER: By dogsled.

VINCENT NAGEAK: -- I make it.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: Using dog team.

RON METZNER: Why did you travel so late that year?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, we stayed too much on the -- at Barrow right there.

RON METZNER: You stayed too long in Barrow?

VINCENT NAGEAK: But, the trail. You see, ice -- ice was just sand. In the fall, they got big ice. Heavy ice. I mean, heavy water coming up to the ice.

That what they got. May. You see a lot of sands on the ice.

RON METZNER: Lots of sand on the ice, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. And the sled was kinda hard to drag 'em.

RON METZNER: Hard to drag it. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we used to landing. Have to start by our dogs.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Open places. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Yeah. With the water running down in those holes?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Yeah. It's almost --

VINCENT NAGEAK: And these sands it's just --

RON METZNER: It sounds like -- But you went by dogsled from Barter Island to Barrow in May?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: To Barrow in May?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And then you were going back, but it was late in the season. Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And I got. I don't know what day. They -- one of our friends at the Beechey Point. Named Margaret, alright. But it's only two days.

RON METZNER:Uh huh. That sounds like a little scary trip. Yeah. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's a -- that the only thing is that this part is -- they never had ice safe in there. It always loose off mainland side.

RON METZNER: Yeah. When?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Anytime.

RON METZNER: Where?

VINCENT NAGEAK: That ocean.

RON METZNER: You mean in -- in

VINCENT NAGEAK: That was hardly to belive it anyway.

RON METZNER: Harrison Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: It goes out anytime, maybe?

VINCENT NAGEAK: And this part here, too.

RON METZNER: Over Smith Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: The ice can go out in the wintertime?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Even in the winter time. You see, it came from the Cape Halkett.

RON METZNER: Cape Simpson? Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Straight line. But the inside always --

RON METZNER: Inside Smith Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: It's safe?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Safe. Sometime -- but sometimes too it floats away all the way to the beach.

RON METZNER: But what time of year have you seen that happen?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Before I get married I knew it better anyway. Long years ago. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But they used to -- to landing on the main -- mainland side. Even got stuck in there someplace.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: They told us to count it. And this part -- (Break in audio as turn tape over)

-- kinda dangerous too for the ship.

RON METZNER: East of Smith Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. East side. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see they always big area becomes stuck right here. Right on the -- stuck right here. Right over there.

RON METZNER: Now wait, now wait. Cape Simpson you get heavy ice? Or on the east -- east of Cape Simpson?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: On the other side?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: On the east side of the bay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Heavy ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: When they're stuck always go across. This one time we never go through with a ship.

RON METZNER: There was a ridge? VINCENT NAGEAK: Right here.

RON METZNER: There was a pile of ice all the way across?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. It's heavy ice coming right in. Probably has grou -- anchoring in there. In the nighttime.

And then finally in the morning they'reblock the whole thing in there.

RON METZNER: Okay, so you were --

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the ice -- ice was open on the other side of it.

RON METZNER: Okay, so you were --

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the ice by --- the captain was watching it and we got ice piled.

RON METZNER: Ice piled? Okay. What -- what boat was that?

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's the Lady Kindersley. Canadian boat.

RON METZNER: And you were in Smith Bay? When was that, that you were there?

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see that -- did you ever heard about that Lady Kindersley boat was floated away by the ice? (was trapped in the ice in August 1924)

RON METZNER: Up here, it got caught in the ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: I've heard of it.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, I mean the first time. RON METZNER: No.

VINCENT NAGEAK: After -- before it floats away. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The other one -- boat -- we camped it right here. RON METZNER: Uh huh. So you --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Before -- before it floats away. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We all loaded up to her and she landed. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That boat. New boat, too.

RON METZNER: New boat. Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. And we landed up there first and he come home we grounded -- I mean we didn't grounded, we -- RON METZNER: You were anchored? VINCENT NAGEAK: -- we anchored. RON METZNER: In Smith Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: We could not go through that ice.

RON METZNER: What time of year was it that this happened? Uh, you were --

VINCENT NAGEAK: I don't know how -- what time it was. When I was reindeer herder.

RON METZNER: You were a reindeer herder?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Ernest (Kignak) and I was. We go together. Lee Suvlu was in there, too. When we got stuck.

RON METZNER: 1920?

RHODA NAGEAK: 1920 -- '23, I think.

RON METZNER: 1923, hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Somewhere around, close to.

RON METZNER: So, you were a reindeer herder, but you were on the boat?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, and in the morning, we got Sunday.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: The ice -- young ice, we call the -- we talk about that young ice.

RON METZNER: Young ice, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: It -- when there's kinda smooth on the ice.

RON METZNER: Maybe this was --?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Coming up the ice. That's calling young ice.

RON METZNER: Was this September? VINCENT NAGEAK: It was about that. It was all around.

There's no ice right on the -- when we have anchor in there?

RON METZNER: When you have what?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Anchor the --

RON METZNER: Anchor the boat. No ice? And the next morning there was ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: New ice.

RON METZNER: New ice. VINCENT NAGEAK: Just a little ice that's it. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And when it get in the morning, you can't -- two inches somewhere around, over two inches ice coming up.

RON METZNER: Wow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: All the way through, all around. RON METZNER: Smith Bay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: And after that, captain said we can not go through, we'll have to stay here -- The ship have to stay here the whole year.

RON METZNER: All winter, uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You're stuck right there. RON METZNER: In Smith Bay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That Canadian captain. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And that's Chimo (phonetic), we call him Chimo, he was ice pilot. RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: In the whaling time. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ship whaling time. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And he didn't say nothing. And after they have lay around in the middle time, after lunch, Chimo tell me,"Vincent, come here. Where do you think we are?" He asked me.

He was the captain said we're stuck here. By the captain. He didn't say about you. About Eskimos. And he says to me, Chimo. You folks will be the first traveling down to Barrow with dogteam.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. That's good.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's what he says to me.

RON METZNER: That's good.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And what you said. Maybe you can't go through that ice out there. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I tell him.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yes, you see it right. Because he had been up there breaking ice and saving us. Then that -- Up there Herschel Island.

RON METZNER: Breaking ice with boats?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. We break it all the way through. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But when I was checking on myself in my brain, that's easiest to going out through that ice.

RON METZNER: How -- how heavy was this ice in Smith Bay behind you? Was it big pile? Ten feet high?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, big balls there's that -- always big, heavy ice all the way through.

RON METZNER: All the way across?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Piling to each other. Get together, freezing together anyway. RON METZNER: Freezing together, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And I -- he whisper to me. He didn't say loud something like. He say, "Vincent, after lunch you will be in Barrow."

RON METZNER: Yeah. Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I says to you true, because you know it, too. He says to me, "because you know it, too." I'd never been in ice like this. I tell him, "Okay." In the morning, first thing you can go out.

RON METZNER: Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And Lee and I used to -- my cousin and I, Lee, watching that propeller when they start to breaking ice, you see.

He put us in the backside. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Watching the propellers.

RON METZNER: The propellers as you were breaking ice.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, not to break -- You start to come right -- RON METZNER: Yeah, not to break the props.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. That's what we do. The two of us. That's what he call us, two of us. And in the morning. Good breakfast.

We got the one of a crippled man, too. He can not hardly to work. He's pretty sad, anyway. I told him, we'll be in Barrow about after lunch maybe.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He said you -- back -- can. He told me that. I know. I got a captain ice pilot out there. He's where we'll be worried today.

Okay. Watch it. Just watch it. That's all. I finally -- after we have our lunch, big voice coming from the --

RON METZNER: Tower. VINCENT NAGEAK: Crow's nest. RON METZNER: Yeah, crow's nest.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Okay, get ready for the pilot. Ice pilot. Calling. Get ready. Pull the anchor up. And it started. Start the engine. And he gave us a first minute of take care of this belt. What you call it, engine. Engine is -- I'm mixed up now. So the -- you see always big power of this motor.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Belt.

RON METZNER: The belt on the motor.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. On the motor. You got it now. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And he change the first mate. "First mate, you have to stay on your side." RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He calling me side, is your side. That ice pilot. So your side, he call it your side. He's calling by itself.

RON METZNER: Your side.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He is the ice pilot, you know. On my side, he says that my side.

RON METZNER: My side, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ice pilot, when he say that, I know he started apparently we can jump right in and we can work on that ice. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: It get -- when we get there, just watch -- tell our -- just watching it at our station in back. Over the side. My cousin and I.

RON METZNER: Ice, so it doesn't get the props?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Yeah, as the ship moved. Where did the ship go?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Huh?

RON METZNER: Where was the ship moving? You pulled the anchor and the ship was moving, where -- which way was it going?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, pull out the anchor -- start to -- I don't know how many power it is.

RON METZNER: Which way was he moving? Was he trying to get out?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Out.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Through the --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Just go straight out. RON METZNER: Through the ridges? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Through the big piles?

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, the ice is coming right in a straight line up to the -- this point here. RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And we start to going over this cross -- cross the current. It's straight -- straight line down to in the middle ice.

And it stop there for a while and watching all of these ice bergs. Okay. Starboard. Something like that and move on this way. Said -- Kinda slowly, you know. Break all the young ice all the way through those. Then after that he coming up back.

RON METZNER: Yeah, and going through.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Coming back to full speed.

RON METZNER: And ram it and break it.

VINCENT NAGEAK: It starts to break it again. RON METZNER: Yeah. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: After he chews it out, we got the load in our boat.

RON METZNER: Yeah, big load.

VINCENT NAGEAK: The ice -- I mean the ship is start to coming up. Because we got no load in there.

RON METZNER: Yeah. You had no load or a big load?

VINCENT NAGEAK: No. No load. RON METZNER: No load. So the boat was coming up and not breaking?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Easier to break them up so they if he got a load you'd break it

RON METZNER: Yeah, break it better. Alright.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But after that he coming back for awhile. Started again. More power coming.

Soon as they do that, and the ice was broke. Right in the middle ice broke. We call them ice broke. Was break all in the middle.

RON METZNER: So you broke one of the -- one of the balls in the pile?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. When they break it, everybody was holler anyway.

RON METZNER: Was cheering. Sure.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Break all the ice by itself. Got up. And that captain was surprised.

RON METZNER: That you could break a berg that big? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: What time -- Was this like September? Do you remember?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, somewhere around. Yeah, it's September. Around September.

RON METZNER: October?

VINCENT NAGEAK: No, you see the -- not, maybe part of it October or what ever it is, I don't know which one it is. September, maybe.

RON METZNER: Maybe, September, this happened. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: They got whale right there where they -- arrived in there. At the Point (Point Barrow). They cutting whale.

RON METZNER: Where were they cutting whales? VINCENT NAGEAK: Here.

RON METZNER: Where? At the Point?

VINCENT NAGEAK: At the Point. RON METZNER: At Point Barrow? VINCENT NAGEAK: Where they --

RON METZNER: When you went around here?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right this way.

RON METZNER: Oh, you were coming back this way? VINCENT NAGEAK: The -- yeah --

RON METZNER: The boat was coming back?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, coming back. We were coming back to the Point. RON METZNER: Okay. So you were headed back for the Point --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right, and we have a stuck right here.

RON METZNER: So in September you got out then from the Smith Bay and as you went around the Point they were cutting up whale.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Point Barrow people had just got a whale.

RON METZNER: Had got a whale? VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: This was 1923, huh?

RHODA NAGEAK: No.

RON METZNER: No? RHODA NAGEAK: After that time.

RON METZNER: After that? RHODA NAGEAK: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: After -- we got -- we got it there. And I smell it.

Stop in there, too, and start to going over to -- Herschel Island by the dog team.

RON METZNER: He was going by dog team to Herschel. He was from Herschel, the ice pilot? VINCENT NAGEAK: Huh?

RON METZNER: The ice pilot was from Herschel Island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, he always stays at Barter -- Herschel Island. He's one of the -- he got a family up there, too.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. He had a family. What was -- what -- there was -- the whale was earlier than '23? At Point Barrow?

What -- what were you saying? You said 1920 --

RHODA NAGEAK: Lady Kindersley was lost 1923 on top of the ice.

RON METZNER: That was when Lady Kindersley was lost? So that was when it was lost?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Last year.

RON METZNER: That was the last year. VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And this was -- okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You're going back at -- you start to coming again.

RON METZNER: I see.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He landed right on the Point. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right there. And somebody Eskimo told him not to stand there. Don't like him right here. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Going over to the Point Barrow side. On that side first. Yeah. RON METZNER: And he got --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Because the ice was come in. RON METZNER: Ice was coming in.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He didn't even -- listening what he said.

RON METZNER: So he lost --

VINCENT NAGEAK: But Captain Pedersen -- Patterson -- was going over all over whaling the same time. RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Same time. Right there. And Eskimo told him to follow him. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He didn't trust him. He want -- he want to wait until he get a man from Point Barrow guide. Soon as he get there, the two men come ashore, walking by the sea ice .

Ice break them in big heavy ice, come in, and where they's walking everything was broke up. The ship rises is in the middle of the ice. Ice berg all around. Start to floats away. Floats down the ocean side. And the ice come right in

RON METZNER: Against the ship.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never going out from that ship.

RON METZNER: North, north from Barrow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: From the ice. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: I don't know how many days it stays down there. He got water and everything is all right. He got engine is all right. Everything is all right.

RON METZNER: Yeah. VINCENT NAGEAK: But the stuck.

RON METZNER: In the ice.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ice started. RON METZNER: Ice it had -- yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Can't move. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And after the move around the ice is kinda break out, you see, on the main side. That ship Cutter, other ships try to get it. RON METZNER: To get it.

VINCENT NAGEAK: All the schooners something like that. Couldn't make it because there was some of the old guys in there, too. Some cooks, engineers.

RON METZNER: Still in the boat.

VINCENT NAGEAK: In the boat. In that ship. RON METZNER: That was stuck.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Stuck. RON METZNER: In the ice.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the -- Mr. Brower he start to helping rescuing the men. Not the ship.

RON METZNER: Not the boat, but the men.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Just the men. Start to rescuing the mens.

RON METZNER: From Lady Kingersley.

VINCENT NAGEAK: All the ship whereever it is, Cutter, come right in. A little bear --we call them Bear.

RON METZNER: The Bear, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Little ship. Government ship. RON METZNER: Hm mm, government ship.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And they get there. Brower call the Eskimos to get together.

RON METZNER: Yeah, go rescue the men?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Rescue the men. And they got the men. I don't know how many gathered. Somwhere eight or seven, something like that.

Or nine, something like that. I don't know how many there was. I want to go, too. I ask him.

RON METZNER: Yeah, if you could go. He wouldn't let you, huh?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I told him -- he don't let me go. But Alfred Hopson was his life.

RON METZNER: Alfred Hopson.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He's one of them. That rescues for that.

RON METZNER: For that boat.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And he take the skin boat, just drag the boat.

RON METZNER: Drag the skin boat over the ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Put the sled underneath and drag -- drag them. Start to --

RHODA NAGEAK: (Inupiaq) Lady Kindersley --

VINCENT NAGEAK: (Inupiaq) No. (Inupiaq) Lady Kindersley --

They got out and they try to take the skin boat and sled and finally he get close all right. Close to it.

And the Eskimos start to drag the skin boat down there, and they holler to each other, tell the mans to come this way. If they could.

RON METZNER: Yes.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's who can --

RON METZNER: Who can come. Just walk over.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Come to -- toward the ship. And you gonna have -- we're going to get the old man's -- he was still there, to move around from the ship.

RON METZNER: Told the old men to stay?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. We're putting out canoe and we'll drag him.

RON METZNER: Yeah, we'll drag him.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the boys are coming get there so the other white guys is going by. And when they get there, there's two old men in the boat waiting.

And as soon as they get in, that work -- all the weak guys is --

RON METZNER: So they helped them?

VINCENT NAGEAK: They hardly to walk on the ice, you see, some of them. RON METZNER: Yeah. They didn't want to --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Everything they save the humans. On that time. After they take the whole things out they come ashore. Up to Barrow.

That's why the -- that ship was going around and around and around. Someplace around Barrow.

RON METZNER: In the pack ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. That's where -- that's where it goes if he trust that man. The captain's --

RON METZNER: He wouldn't have been -- he wouldn't have lost his boat. VINCENT NAGEAK: If he do anything. RON METZNER: Yeah, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He go around to the Point, right over the Point. RON METZNER: He should have been in a sheltered spot in the ice

VINCENT NAGEAK: That's -- that's the only thing is that's right here.

RON METZNER: Behind the Point?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Here, right here. On this side.

RON METZNER: Yeah, there's no protection from ice on that side.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You don't have to stay in this place when the ice come right in. They're dangerous all the time. We lost our man right on the Point, too,.

RON METZNER: Who was that that got killed?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Aaŋa. Ernest's (Kignak) father.

RON METZNER: Ernest's father?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Ice got him. Usually when they fro -- snow, it sounds like it hollers. It's usually out a ways. And the ice got -- the current is getting strong.

And the ice was thick. About four feet thick.

RON METZNER: Four feet thick. What time of year was this?

VINCENT NAGEAK: In the spring time. Only time.

RON METZNER: Only time it comes in, on the spring time? Is this like --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yes, you're right in the middle of -- RHODA NAGEAK: Of seal --

RON METZNER: March? RHODA NAGEAK: Seal. When seal.

RON METZNER: Do you remember -- VINCENT NAGEAK: I couldn't remember.

RON METZNER: How old were you? Were you a young man? VINCENT NAGEAK: Huh?

RON METZNER: Were you a young man when this happened? Were you caribou --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Oh my, I'm an old man.

RON METZNER: No, no, no, no.. But can you remember --

VINCENT NAGEAK: She knows. RHODA NAGEAK: You -- (Inupiaq)

RON METZNER: Were you -- were you herding reindeer, then, when that happened?

RHODA NAGEAK: No. RON METZNER: No.

VINCENT NAGEAK: When I was quit. Reindeer ranch. And when I quit, I never going back to reindeer herders.

RON METZNER: Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Then we got a whaling that got guy. Ice come right in and there's big iceberg come in. Just regular ice berg.

Because it get in and break all that ice in and got that man. Almost got two.

RON METZNER: Where was he? What were they doing? Were the on the ice or -- ? RHODA NAGEAK: '32

VINCENT NAGEAK: On the ice.

RON METZNER: They were on the ice?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Right on the Point side, yeah.

RON METZNER: On the Point side. Maybe 1932.

RHODA NAGEAK: '33, or somewhere around.

RON METZNER: '33, huh. Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: You see, that's everything --

RON METZNER: That must've been very fast. VINCENT NAGEAK: Huh?

RON METZNER: To catch a man. That must have been really fast moving. VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RHODA NAGEAK: '49, '29. '30. I forgot.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Around 1930, yeah, yeah, that's a shame.

RHODA NAGEAK: Before the --

RON METZNER: It's hard to remember years. But it's, you know, just close is okay.

RHODA NAGEAK: It's '33, I think. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Wait a minute. You got story here. RON METZNER: Which --

VINCENT NAGEAK: I got the whole true story in the -- maybe. (tape break)

RON METZNER: The same year that you got stuck -- Lady Kindersley got grounded at Cross Island at night. VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: That was not a lucky ship that year.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, we got the captain. Captain is a German.

RON METZNER: And he's not very good?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Well, he's too good, maybe. RON METZNER: Uh, right. VINCENT NAGEAK: Oh my, he --

RON METZNER:Yeah, sounds like he got in trouble a lot that year.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Never get in trouble lot of years. Just try to save us anyway.

RON METZNER: Okay. He got you off the --

VINCENT NAGEAK: I like that old man. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Shine up everything. RON METZNER: Uh huh. Okay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Not try to be a brass. Yeah. (tape break)

But I heard they have no ice around there.

RON METZNER: It's very deep.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Near Pukuk Bay.

VINCENT NAGEAK: That -- the ice always, always, always come right in. Landed. Big and heavy ice.

RON METZNER: Heavy ice always grounds on that side? VINCENT NAGEAK: Hm mm. Yeah.

RON METZNER: Cause it's deep. Pukuk Bay. That's the east side, isn't it, of Barter.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Barter Island, yeah.

RON METZNER: And between Pukuk and Barter.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And which was that -- they try to trailing around here someplace -- willing to trailing -- (tape break) the islands around here.

Used to have the story of the Natives.

RON METZNER: What story? About ice taking the top off an island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Where?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Where is? Where is it? On the ocean side of Point Barrow?

RON METZNER: Uh huh. There was an island there that lost --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Used to be an island up there, too. You see that point up -- Wait a minute.

RON METZNER: You mean Point Barrow?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Point Barrow, or Beechey Point? Wherever it is.

RON METZNER: Wait, wait, here's Point Barrow. VINCENT NAGEAK: Point Barrow.

RON METZNER: On the ocean side of Point Barrow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ocean side is way up there someplace. RON METZNER: There used to be --

VINCENT NAGEAK: Island. Where are they?

RON METZNER: I don't know. You think the ice took them?

VINCENT NAGEAK: We don't -- we don't see -- no body shovel out anyway.

RON METZNER: Nobody what?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Shovel out.

RON METZNER: Shovel them out, yeah. But you know, the current could take them.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Ice is -- ice is drag them out. Current is drag it out and floats that island. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But you see. There it is. Water, ice, Cape Halkett. Where are they?

RON METZNER: Yeah. Where's that? Okay, okay. But I wondered if you'd actually seen a time when the ice hit the top and moved an island?

VINCENT NAGEAK: I never --- I never know it myself, too, but I have seen all the way through down to -- And the Cape Halkett peoples says to me in the winter time ice was come in piling on these ice put it all up on the bank.

RON METZNER: Yeah, up on the bank.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Break all the bank. And when they melt all the ice out, the wave come in.

RON METZNER: The waves come in, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Was it start to wash out the whole thing island in there.

RON METZNER: Right. Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Point. That's what they used to say. But it was long way. On that time. I know it myself.

RON METZNER: Yeah, Cape Halkett used to extend further over. Out into Harrison Bay than it does now.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah, that's right. And we always safe too from a west wind. Big sea coming.

We always safe right there, too, where all the (inaudible) is melting our stores. For --

RON METZNER: Projections. VINCENT NAGEAK: Native stores.

RON METZNER: Native stores, yeah. Hm mm.

VINCENT NAGEAK: We used to walk around. Back and forth on that time. RON METZNER: Yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But now, it was small. Under --

RON METZNER: So it's not as much of a shelter back here from the storms. VINCENT NAGEAK: No.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. And west wind. Yeah. (tape break)

You never were watching the islands, too much, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: But some of the island people.

RON METZNER: Yeah, Flaxman (Island), Brownlow (Point).

VINCENT NAGEAK: Foggy Island. RON METZNER: Foggy Island, right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: One time going over to Christmas -- Christmas time, Johnny -- RON METZNER: Johnny Tookak.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Tookak, yeah. He lost his family right there.

RON METZNER: Where?

VINCENT NAGEAK: Someplace right there. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

VINCENT NAGEAK: He's the one that start to go up to Brownlow. RON METZNER: To Brownlow Point.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. Over there someplace. RON METZNER: Right.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Someplace. When they get there, the wind started. West wind.

RON METZNER: West wind.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Pretty bad. RON METZNER: Pretty bad.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And floats away. Cracked it on the ground. RON METZNER: Cracked. Hm mm, yeah.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And the ice was start to going over to that side. Right here. And they lost their small children.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Near the Canning. Mouth of the Canning (River). By Brownlow.

VINCENT NAGEAK: And you come out to -- right here.

RON METZNER: East side of Camden Bay. Hm mm. December.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Yeah. You see this ice, he don't safe for the year anyway, must be. And the late times.

RON METZNER: In the late times.

VINCENT NAGEAK: Or stay in there off, too, sometimes. Stays there for a while. Quite a while. Summer.