Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Thomas Brower, III, Interview 1

Thomas "Tommy" Brower, III was interviewed on July 12, 2008 by Matthew Druckenmiller in Barrow, Alaska. This interview was part of Matthew's research for a Ph.D. in Snow, Ice and Permafrost Geophysics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For his project, he mapped the trails built by whalers to their camps at the edge of the sea ice and talked with local residents about ice conditions, whale camps, and trail building. Results of his research can be found in his dissertation Alaska Shorefast Ice: Interfacing Geophysics With Local Sea Ice Knowledge and Use (2011). Tommy was also interviewed on June 29, 2009. In this interview, he talks about the ice conditions, trails, camp locations and whaling in Barrow during the 2008 spring season. He talks about how the ice conditions have changed since the 1970s, the difficulties of trying to pull up and butcher whales on thin ice, and use of modern technology like satellite imagery, trail maps, and GPS for navigation and assessing ice conditions. He also talks about experiences with ice break-off events.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-25-09

Project: Sea Ice Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Jul 12, 2008
Narrator(s): Thomas Brower, III
Interviewer(s): Matthew Druckenmiller
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Changes in extent of shorefast ice, weather conditions, and length of whaling season

Multi-year ice (Piqaluyak)

Breaking trail for spring 2008 whaling season

Use of satellite imagery and maps

Large ice break-off event in the 1990s

Ice break-off events

Effect of a lot of snow on the ice and warm temperatures during whaling season

Determining trail location regarding pressure ridges, flat ice, and building an escape route

Using a tractor on the ice in the 1970s, and introduction of snowmachines

Trails and whaling during 2008 spring season, and importance of having an escape route trail

Staying safe on the ice, monitoring cracks, and pulling back when necessary

Thin ice

Importance of multi-year ice (Piqaluyak) and fresh water

Difficulties of pulling up whales on thin ice, and importance of cooperation among whaling crews

Use of Druckenmiller's sea ice trail maps

Use of GPS, and looking at his trails on his GPS

Use of GPS and fish finder to aid in understanding sea ice and whales

Using a seal net to catch seals with his grandfather

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Transcript

THOMAS BROWER III: Every year from my knowledge it's been going out too early, shorefast lead is being close to the land. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And again remember from the time I started was my grandfather, we used to average about 15 miles off shore.

That would be the open lead. Between 10 to 15 miles. At one point, I can remember from Browerville my grandfather his -- when we -- he always go out straight out from his house. That’s in Browervillem, straight out.

At one point we had 27 miles out, trail one way.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So that was in the -- what time?

THOMAS BROWER III: '69 or ’70. That was the longest I could ever remember. 27 miles. But now calculate that, that’s nothing.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So when did it start to be just short like this? THOMAS BROWER III: I think in the 70’s it started receding.

And like I said that it's just too bad that the scientific studies didn't start in the 60’s when actually before there was even discussion of the climate change or global warning.

And I feel that’s about when it started, you know, when industrial nations really went to a boom. The full scale. The automotives and everything, factories all over this world.

They say that’s part of when it -- my grandfather used to tell me stories and that's probably when it started receding. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And I'm not sure if you had interviewed Kenneth Toovak, Sr. He might say something similar, but I’m not sure. I call him -- We call him Dr. Iceman. You probably met him before.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah, I have. I've never really spoken to him much, but I’ve met him and I’ve heard a lot of people talk about him.

THOMAS BROWER III: He actually -- practically grew up in Barrow and stayed in Barrow.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: What do you call him, the Iceman?

THOMAS BROWER III: Dr. Iceman. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Dr. Iceman.

THOMAS BROWER III: When the NARL was created, he worked there till it no longer existed.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. So what do you think the reason is that -- that you have -- the shorefast ice doesn’t extend out as far?

THOMAS BROWER III: Warm water. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Warm water. THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, warm water. There's nothing else. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And you ever talk with Dan Endres?

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Dan who?

THOMAS BROWER III: Dan Endres.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Dan Endres?

THOMAS BROWER III: NOAA and he has temperature from the time he started recording and temperature is warming up here.

It's our climate and weather and probably that’s when it all kind of do a chain reaction. Our atmospheric temperature warming up, our springs are earlier, like this year four weeks early. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And we were on the ice early this year. Too early. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: It usually -- from my history -- my knowledge and going out spring whaling, we used to go at least all the way to Memorial weekend. We don’t even do that anymore.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So when did you guys pull off the ice this year?

THOMAS BROWER III: Probably May -- mid part of May. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: That was too early. What, you know, I had made plans to go spring whaling on Memorial weekend. There's no more snow.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: I want to ask you some specific questions about this year, but -- but in general when you talk about the extent of ice not being as far out as in the past, does that have any -- you said that the warm water is the main reason, but what about the presence of Piqaluyak?

THOMAS BROWER III: The what?

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: The multi-year ice is it -- THOMAS BROWER III: Multi-year ice? MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Piqaluyugraq , yeah. We hardly see those nowadays -- not like we used to.

We have a lot of Piqaluyak, the multi-year ice we call it. But also after what 10, 15 years it becomes fresh water.

And we used to have that a lot. Hardly see that anymore, and the massive pressure ridges and the icebergs. We don’t see those no more. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: They used to be our what we call our sea ocean ice more like landmarks.

And my grandfather used to gather Piqaluyak -- big -- that ice, multi-year ice and use for your -- spring hunt, because they’re the safest ice than the young ice.

And he said if something happens and you’re in that Piqaluyak rock, you’re safe. Even if you get washed out it will always come back sooner or later.

You always come back to shore within a few years. They don’t go exceeding hundred miles out. They go few miles, come back. We don’t see those multi-year ice hardly.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Did you see any this year? THOMAS BROWER III: No. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: No.

THOMAS BROWER III: We had to bring our water from land. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. THOMAS BROWER III: Every day had to haul water.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: What about this stuff that's out here now that got brought in just recently in the last week or so.

THOMAS BROWER III: Well, that's the -- that's the -- don’t call it Piqaluyugraq . MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: No.

THOMAS BROWER III: Those are just pressure ridges, you know, crumbled and whatnot, but they look like the multi-year, but they’re not. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Unless you would go out there and analyze it.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, I did actually. I -- two days ago I went out there by boat and I -- I don’t have a lot of experience, but it didn't look like multi-year ice to me.

THOMAS BROWER III: Everybody was pretty scared last -- this spring we first went out towards Napasraq, that's where we first break trail over here, Napasraq.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: This year?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. We first went out over here. This big flat ice over here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And we didn’t even stay there four days. The trail wasn’t -- wasn't travelable anymore.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh, so that -- was that in early May or -- ?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. Approximately May. When we first went out it got pretty scary. We had holes on our trail already.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. From warm water underneath?

THOMAS BROWER III: From warm water and the sunlight.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So -- so that trail is not on this map, huh?

THOMAS BROWER III: No, it's not.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So we missed one in here somewhere?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. We usually try to go at Napasraq area. Try to stay away from everybody else. Multiple -- multiple whaling crews together. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: So we end up going out in front of -- probably north of ABC . We end up over here somewhere.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. So what crew are you on?

THOMAS BROWER III: I go with my brother-in-law, Lloyd Panigeo. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Okay.

THOMAS BROWER III: Panigeo crew. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Thank you.

THOMAS BROWER III: Cause I haven’t taken my crew out in a number of years. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But I’m registered for fall whaling. I've been going out fall whaling from here. It's cheaper from here.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. So -- so which trail did you say you went on?

THOMAS BROWER III: We went to this one here.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Okay, No. 4, okay.

THOMAS BROWER III: And then actually we had multiple -- multiple trails. We had one here. It was kind of rough. And we break -- and we came out by Duck Camp over here and hit the trail that goes to the flats in this area.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So in between these two? THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Even though there was trail -- but we kind of very rough. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And all we did was scout around we found flat ice, and there everything was loaded better. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But there was -- just like this -- like -- like black shelves. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Here we used this as a reference. Okay, the black ice is same flat ice. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And the white will be the pressure ridges. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Or rough areas, so we look through here . MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Had a good trail.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. So you guys did look at these satellite images this year?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. Right after your -- it was printed out.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. Well, that was one of my questions is if a map like this is helpful. And if you have any suggestions on how I could do it differently?

THOMAS BROWER III: Well , it's not easy. Yeah, I was impressed with this. It's probably for sake of rescue. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Into there, so North Slope Borough Rescue needed a quick -- they call. This is good reference. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And so, yeah, there's a lot of us we don’t carry PLB’s , but we have GPS coordinates. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And it is a good start, especially for the safety due to the ice conditions like we had this spring. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Now if we had this a number of years ago, this program. When we got all broken ice -- broken off from the shorefast ice. It went down over here. We had about 17 crews in one spot that got broken off.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Which year was that?

THOMAS BROWER III: '93 maybe’94, somewhere around there.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah, I’ve heard of that.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. When there was a lot of us. And there were some of us camping that kind of kept the -- almost 100 people kinda calm. They were almost in panic stage just from the experience and knowledge. And by the time we got off with the choppers, but we -- like my crew had all the equipment all in one spot.

Okay, this captain, take your crew -- your necessary equipment and put them in the skin boat.

Your whaling gear, what you feel that's most valuable to you as the whaling captain.

But I had two boats now, so I had about 80% of my stuff, but I wasn’t worried about snowmachines, no, but the whaling gear in there, but we had this and them kind.

We had the search and rescue kinda searching around. We didn’t have the PLB them days, but we had VHF's .

And we had one of the North Slope Borough coordinators with us, so the out here, about six, seven miles off shore.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But at the end our -- all our gear in the back -- in front of one of the islands. Got Qaligruaq . There was -- it was huge Qaligruaq where we was on.

Like I said, sooner or later it'll come back and they did come back. So we had other snowmachines which which were in town, so we went out from here up to the islands and then go retrieve our snowmachines.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, so you got some of the stuff back?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, we got them all back. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Wow. That’s --

THOMAS BROWER III: It came back

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. So that -- that Piqaluyuk comes back. It comes back -- comes back with the winds or the currents?

THOMAS BROWER III: The current and the wind. We were just -- we waited about four or five days, but yet there were still transporting some with a chopper where some crews had no snowmachines so they transported the snowmachines so they could get from there.

You know, repair their snowmachine and everything and head back out to get their equipment.

It was pretty tough work. That’s part of our spring whaling. There's no easy spring whaling in springtime.

If somebody say it’s easy, yeah, cause of hard . New experiences, just young. A young whaling captain, they haven't seen -- experience like we have gone through.

You know, been broken off and come back and everything for that loss of equipment, or come here and back again. It's a matter of time.

But that was one of many I’ve been -- from my experience being broken off of shorefast ice. I think that'll be four times in my lifetime.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Four times.

THOMAS BROWER III: In my lifetime.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So what are the main reasons that it's just broken off and you’ve been on it?

THOMAS BROWER III: Well, now the current, high tide, the combination of the two of them. It's all in -- it's all by itself, it will happen.

The current, you know, if we have a west wind -- west current and you have a high tide, the ice all the way on the shore is wet. And most everything floating and the wind that all come together. It happens. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Like my late grandfather from my mom’s side he's been broken off by the Uisauq . Uisauq . Uisauti he's -- that means broken off. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh. Oh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Shorefast ice. Uisauq . And some of the young whaling captains are getting to experience that, but not like the old whaling captain.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So when -- when you were on the trail that number -- THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Before this year, what was the ice like in this -- ?

THOMAS BROWER III: Well, first when I was -- pretty solid -- a lot of snow. But there -- you probably was aware we had a big, big blow. Right out there that clear water started to be made, and we had a big blow. And a lot of snow came out. That snow was too young.

It wasn’t packed. And that's what made any -- created insulation barrier on the young ice. When you have fresh snow on top not from all winter, fresh snow, that stuff's very like insulation to the ice. And the ice is heating up from the bottom faster.

But if you had snow that they -- in Nov -- from December and it's there, it's usually super hard packed. That's the kind of snow we like to see, because it's super hard packed and it can last all through the spring. But if you have fresh snow at the start of spring whaling, its bad news.

Before this young ice here, it's bad news. It'll get eaten up real fast from the bottom, cause that young -- young snow is more like super insulation.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Um. Well, is that the reason that you guys had to abandon this region down by Napasraq?

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. Yeah. But when we went back out there it looked -- the trail was nice, but it deteriorated real fast even when we were not traveling on the same trail from the side to side, yeah, it can last.

Just that -- I mean if the sun hit -- warm temperature, it was gone. That snow is gone.

And the water on top of this young ice, it's, you know, you've created what they call it -- you call it something else, you may heat. You gotta help me out.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: But it absorbs all the heat that the water on top -- THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: What do you call that on lead anyway? Heat. Thermal heat.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Thermal heat. THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. And when it's outta here, it -- it -- the water's there on top of the young ice and whatnot. That’s it. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: You want to know how long it will last, but my experience a couple days. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Cause that water just absorbs that sunlight. Create a -- a -- a heat on top of the ice.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: But that doesn’t necessarily happen if it's an old snow?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep, all winter. Cause when you have snow all winter, it get pack hard, it crystallizes.

You follow where there's a part in there, it crystallizes. It's gonna create a , but becomes part of the ice and as the sun hits it gets packed harder.

And we like to see that in our spring whaling, that there's super hard snow and then crystallized snow on the bottom. That way it don't create a insulation barrier. If it does, but not like the young snow.

The young snow is pretty -- I don’t like it. It's good for helping land snowmachines, but not on the ice.

So you stay -- I was refer to effect -- On the land it's good, on ice it ain’t.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: This -- this trail -- when I was on this trail I remember that one being one that was really -- It went over some pretty big ridges.

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. We scouted around the trail before we moved more. We scouted around, but we started looking around for other areas, you know, to be a better trail.

When you came out and watching -- looking at the ice itself, you notice these flat spots. Look, why are they missing all these flat spots? You've seen them busting their backs making these trails to rough trails -- ridges and just a little ways there'd be flat ice.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: In this region here?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. That's why it's like over here. It’s flat. And all this is -- was kind of flat. Even over here. It's like a big flat ice over here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Things like that. Why didn't they? I know that if it was an older whaling captain -- elder whaling captain, that he'd utilize the flat ice more to his advantage than have to work his men on the trail.

But this year it's not with us. Not like from my experience. We used to break trail two to three weeks. Like this year, a couple days. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And you have -- you're out on the ice for . It's not like the old days out there anymore.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So in general what -- what conditions do you look for when you're -- when you're building your trail?

I mean you said flat spots, but what about in terms of just going in an area that's stable? You know, how do you choose where you put your trail?

THOMAS BROWER III: We choose from our grandpar -- experience and teaching from our grandfather in front of Browerville out. But crisscross out. Not like No. 6. They did, but they abandoned it. Right -- Gilbert Leavitt. And his -- Gilbert Leavitt’s mom, Helen, and his -- Isaac, late Isaac --

We all used to -- to -- captains from Brower used to combine together to get a great trail right in front of Barrow. Straight out -- almost straight out. Used to, but we don’t do that now.

But that's where I would've been going -- is going out here straight out.

But we have crew members that are enough to work hard. Like sometimes we used to go in the easterly route.

Everybody wants everything easy nowadays. Not like the old days. We work hard two or three weeks breaking trails, but we had big crews them days. 30, 40 people breaking trail on one trail. And when they finish one trail, then they -- we used to make another. Escape route.

If anything happens to that trail, we used to have -- my grandfather used to teach us how you must have an escape route if something happens to one trail.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So in the old days there used to be fewer trails?

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. Yep, but more crews were congregated and make it real wide. Enough for three heavy dog teams them days. Two or three dog teams, they'll crisscross.

And smooth, not rough like we have nowadays. Nowadays we have snowmachine which them days they had dog teams, which you had to take care of the dogs' feet, so it was always smooth.

Nowadays we don’t have dog teams. Snowmachines don’t feel that rough spot. They just break down.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: And do people build escape routes nowadays?

THOMAS BROWER III: No. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: No.

THOMAS BROWER III: No. There was no escape route like this here. Over here, we -- they combine them by going through flat ice -- okay, joining them in.

And we also -- like we did when we break trail over here, which we find a flat spot, we had this -- this trail came here and that way.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. Oh, so you guys had a trail that went --

THOMAS BROWER III: It was pretty much all flat.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, so you didn’t need to.

THOMAS BROWER III: No. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: But if people found out, oh look at there. How did they get there so fast?

So they scouted, went over and scouted. It's pretty smooth. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: How did they missed it? I don’t know. And they was scouting.

They were just going off. It was breaking trail without actually scouting.

You know at one point in the '70’s, I used to go out with a tractor.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: In the '70’s?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, with a tractor.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Just as a means of transportation or to bring the whale?

THOMAS BROWER III: No, break trail.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, really. THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. They used to break trail with tractor.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Really with -- what did you use on the front?

THOMAS BROWER III: A blade. They had a dozer blade. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: But nowadays you can’t even drive a Cat out there. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Too thin. But in the '70s, was super thick ice, you know, and one year the ice was so bad, jagged, but it was thick.

And everybody was scouting up north and down west scouting. They see me go straight out with a Cat. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: I think I went out about seven miles with a Cat until I saw water that was it.

You must leave some work for the captain.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Were you the only one that used to use a tractor or did some others?

THOMAS BROWER III: Well, I started off -- I started that process that one year. Going out with tractor and that’s it.

The mayor got his Cat from the North Star Borough. He was up north, break trail, and his first break trail busts off. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Only they're not out at the edge of the water, but to a point where you can see the water. So that way the other Cats could branch out and make trail. Leave some work.

But that was the only time I did that. There was only once and everybody loved it. There was so jagged. You couldn’t even walk on it, because just like that.

But we had massive pressure ridges and I was going through 20 -- 20 feet up with the Cat.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. Were you -- was that -- was that after dog teams then or was there still dog teams at that time?

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-uh. There was no dog teams. In the '70’s, it was all snowmachines. That was the end of the dog teams since 60’s.

In the 60’s that’s when the snowmachines start going -- coming into play.

Now clear as that history of that -- to give the history of -- They have a history book where the snowmachine first landed in Barrow.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. I shou -- Yeah. A lot of interesting things.

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. The reason why I know. My grandfather and my uncle, in fact, we was the first dealer in the whole United States. Polaris, too. That’s why I know.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. That’s a good reason to know.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, they wrote a book where there was a -- Polaris became 35 years old. The Polaris product. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Thirty-five years. And it had history -- create a history when the first snowmachine dealers and the first snowmachine that landed in Barrow. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: I actually took a picture of it getting off DC-3. Wien’s them days.

And actually unloading the snowmachine from the DC-3 and heading in front of Brower's Store with the Brower Store name on it. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So the --

THOMAS BROWER III: And it was only $750 snowmachine.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: That’s a lot back then, though. THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So you guys moved into this area -- what time of year was that?

THOMAS BROWER III: Probably --

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Between three and four?

THOMAS BROWER III: Probably about mid part -- towards -- probably first week of May. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Or just maybe on the weekend after the first week of May. This -- our trail over there, it was just matter of days was gone. Deteriorated.

Like I said, that fresh blizzard snow we had that spring, that was -- that was pretty bad.

Cause I didn’t like it when we had that -- that blizzard just in the start of the spring whaling.

I didn’t like it at all. I don’t know what you hear from the other captains or other people saying that it might have been good. It was good only for a couple days where that -- MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Like I said that fresh snow, it starts prevailing -- it's a insulation period.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. So then did you guys -- did you guys end up getting a whale out here or -- ? THOMAS BROWER III: Nope. No, we didn’t get a whale this spring. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh.

THOMAS BROWER III: No. No, we tried. You always have your ups and downs. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: There's never a guarantee. Never.

Only not like these aggressive people. ABC and some of those. But ABC being a big family. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Because they'll be aggressive. I used to go out with my uncle, Arnold Brower, Sr.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, when you were out on any of these trails, you said that you didn’t have an escape route, but did you have a place that you would pull back to? THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: When conditions were poor?

THOMAS BROWER III: Over here, yeah, we did. Cause when we came to break trail over here -- a new trail. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: All these from five to two, they all tied in eventually. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: When we came in the middle, they all started tying in.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: With -- with little trails.

THOMAS BROWER III: No flat ice. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, just -- just flat ice.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, flat ice which puts off snowmachining and people say oh, the snowmachine over there.

They start going -- they'll start scouting a little bit so they pick -- there was multiple escape routes this spring because two -- one or two captains or crew members that we went over here and start -- they start tying in the trail after this one was created.

You should have been out there after this was created to see had everything tied in like this MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Had probably had everything tied in. And at one point just for our curiosity until they got -- weather was kinda bad and made it all the way over here. Just to here.

That was before any of the whales -- first whales were caught. Actually from over here, snowmachining all the way over here. Right through here.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: And then all the way from Trail 2 all the way over to 7? THOMAS BROWER III: Yep, right to the -- MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Didn’t have to go fast, but he was able to drive snowmachines all the way over here. And one of the crew members actually went right around here. Just looking around. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: To see how it was. Like this one here. he had two escape routes.

If something happened over here, they could run that way. Or if an ice ridge hits, you know, they could go the other way.

That’s why they, you know, like escape routes. It's based on experience if say a massive pressure ridge comes in, the current crushes the trail then you go down around and head for the shore or your escape route. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Your secondary trail. If something happens like a pressure ridge it crumbles up their first trail, then you can go on your secondary trail.

That what you call the escape route.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Did you guys have to pull off the edge at all this year because -- THOMAS BROWER III: Yes. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: -- of the incoming ice?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, we did pull off. No, it was not massive pressure ridges, but it just no more water, no high winds, we just pulled off somewhere around here. Somewhere around here.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Somewhere -- THOMAS BROWER III: Somewhere around there. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Somewhere.

THOMAS BROWER III: But we felt the ice was safe enough. And make sure there was no off cracks.

If there's old cracks then we go on towards the land tomorrow. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: You got to be very observant, I mean, if there's old cracks.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Did you guys -- did you guys have any like refrozen cracks along in this area that you noticed? Like weak spots?

THOMAS BROWER III: Well, I think there was one old crack, but I didn’t mind it, but it looked pretty solid.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. Somewhere in this area, you said?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, somewhere, yeah, past this ridge here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Okay.

THOMAS BROWER III: It goes all the way out. It was just following that -- that main ridge.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, okay. Along this -- this ridge line.

THOMAS BROWER III: It was all cracked, but it was -- but you still needs to be to -- if you're going to come ashore. Basically, no water, high winds, and you're going to set up a camp outside you need to stay away from in the crack. Because, you know, they do -- won’t see it if they do move. If you have a good GPS, you can see elevation going up and --

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Can you hear it sometimes, the --

THOMAS BROWER III: If you want to sit there and listen, you can, but no it doesn’t make noise. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: No. It just likes the snow. But when it breaks, it's like someone shot a shotgun. When it breaks. Have you ever heard it before?

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: No. No, I haven’t, but I was out -- I was out on the edge not in Barrow. This is in Wales in the Bering Strait and I was out on one of these extensions and -- and it was -- I could feel it going up and down because I was right at the crack.

And I was listening and it sounded like a squeaky door.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, like a -- like if you have two good sized ice in there, and then you had been hearing them opening and closing on from the bottom. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. THOMAS BROWER III: Of the water. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But when it breaks, you’ll know it. It's like somebody shot a shotgun. Bang. That's it.

I hope some day you do experience that when it -- or hear it break. You'll say, "Somebody shoot a shotgun?" It's, "No, it is not a shotgun. The ice broke." It's just like somebody shot a shotgun. Bang. Boom. It's just --

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, I -- did you notice anything unusual with the winds or the currents this year?

THOMAS BROWER III: No. I’d say it was pretty normal this year. But the ice condition was just bad, you know. It was pretty normal. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But I think there were a lot of whales -- it seems like one week there was about four or five days like there was no current, but there was a lot of whales going through. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But they were going way off.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So when there's no current, they'll go further out?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. I can’t say for a fact cause there was a lot of ice out here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: So they were staying off -- off the main ice, not on the shorefast ice. But they were staying on the main ice out there. Following the main ice, but it was so close.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, I see. Well, and then just in general do you -- how stable was -- was the shore ice this year?

THOMAS BROWER III: It was stable, but thin. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Just too thin. It deteriorated too fast.

Because the like safe -- the start of the winter last fall probably due to the fact that -- maybe that's why our ice -- shorefast was so thin.

There's a ice free conditions all the way up to December. Almost to January. It should've been frozen over by November. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And it get pushed out -- pushed ashore a little bit and that way the shorefast would've been thicker.

But if we have a ice free conditions all the way I would say to January, then the ice conditions won’t be as good just like this year -- this spring.

It wasn’t thick enough. Creating spa -- but if it stayed, if it stay and start out the winter and it stays offshore it'll be safe. But if it goes out, you know, back and forth, ice becomes it's thin. And if you just created these pressure ridges, start crumbling up it will --

I hope some day that our Piqaluyak will -- do show up around a little bit. I hope they do, because I feel a lot safer on them than other ice. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And you have all the fresh water you want.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Just so I can pronounce it correctly I said Piquluyuk . That’s not correct?

THOMAS BROWER III: Piqaluyak . MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Piqaluyak . THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Piqaluyak .

THOMAS BROWER III: They're nice and flat, you know, and large.

And that’s where the captain would like to see it stay on, is Piqaluyak . Stays solid.

And if something happens that they break off, then you still have all the fresh water you want. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: You won’t run out of anything. But you still have all the sea animals -- sea mammals to hunt off. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But without water you can’t go far. Anywhere. Without water you can’t do much. You just dehydrate.

And you know saltwater is no good for you. It gets you sick. And I don’t like drinking snow.

Yeah, it’s good, but yet it's not effective water to wash your snow -- I don’t even know that but I hate drinking snow water. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Your body dehydrates faster if you drink snow water. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: You mean if you just eat the snow or -- THOMAS BROWER III: Yep, eat the snow or make water. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. THOMAS BROWER III: With snow. To me it don’t taste right. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And I had to take more -- twice as lot more than Piqaluyak . This here Piqaluyak ice, I can drink one cup and I’ll be all right. Snow water you have to drink twice as much just so your body will be in good health. So you're exerting more energy. Put in more fuel.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, even though -- even though you said this ice out here was thin was it -- was it thick enough to haul the whale up onto?

THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. Yeah. Because they pulled a number of whales.

That was good, you know, that they got the whales before the ice deteriorated, you know. Yeah, me and Lloyd we pulled all -- actually when they started struck and lost whale -- when they starting stuck and lost, one right after another, then it's time to -- time to pull ashore, you know.

And that’s when everybody pulled ashore one by one.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: After there's a lot of struck and losses? THOMAS BROWER III: Struck and loss.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So what -- Lloyd -- what’s his last name? THOMAS BROWER III: Panigeo. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, okay.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, London's brother. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, your brother-in-law.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. Yeah, we like to go out. And one year we, you know, got whales in -- got whales together in one spring. And we had a blast at Nalukataq. All definitely -- there was four crews, you know, all at once festival Nalukataq.

The community had a lot of blast in the four of us. There was Tony Edwardsen, Lloyd, myself, and there was one more. I can’t recall who it was. But we had a blast.

Yeah, we pulled off from the sho -- from the -- with our skin boats at once. We Apugauti at the same time. The same spot. Brought in our skin boats, you know.

I don’t know if you’ve seen what they do it when they Apugauti, when they come -- successful whaling captains bring their skin boats back. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, us four we brought up boats all at once in one day. With our flags on the skin boat.

And actually a lot of elders really admire us four to work together. They said they have never seen that in a long time. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Apugauti at the same time. And the same four crews had a festival at a same time. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And the whole town. Everybody was happy, you know.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So what crews were those?

THOMAS BROWER III: There were four crews. My crew, Brower Four, Panigeo, Edwardsen, and could be Harry, but I’m not sure. I can’t recall. But it was in ’94.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So all four crews got four whales working together?

THOMAS BROWER III: When we pull off of the ice, called Apugauti, we came ashore at the same time. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And we had Nalukataq at the same time. In late June.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: That made the elders happy, huh?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, it's good for the elders. It's the elders that really get a kick out of it, you know, when whaling captains are working together. But a number of captains for the same cause, be coming home safe, and having a blast.

And we haven’t seen that ever since, you know, things like that. We haven’t seen one like that ever since we did in ’94. And hopefully maybe some day it'll happen again.

Because my wife just found my grandfather's flag again. Original flag, Brower Four.

I could -- My gun, ammo box, had copies of the flags. Not the original. But we away. And one of them came up. She found it the other day. It's very fragile. But some of the old flags --

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Is it made of some skin or -- ? THOMAS BROWER III: No, just a cloth. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Just cloth. THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, I didn’t even have to ask you too many questions. You told me a lot of interesting things.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, like I said, you know, experience and knowledge. And just like I said my grandfather took me out -- start taking me out when I was -- believe when I was eight or nine. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Started as ice boy, haul ice. Had to learn how to use a stove, then I’d be a coffee boy. From there I readily go up the ladder. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And I had great -- good uncles, you know, good uncles, good Ataata's that were willing to educate me, train me to where I am now.

I don’t think I would be sitting here if it wasn’t for to become a fourth generation whaling captain.

Anything else?

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: No, no, well, I guess -- I think you’ve answered everything that I was interested in, but I wanted to ask just in general did -- are there other -- because we -- you know, we or I am interviewing people and then also we’re using you guys’ trails to -- to get our scientific data, so we want to try to share, you know, the stuff that we collect.

And that’s why I decided that I wanted to try to make these maps and we just wanted to ask if there's other -- other things we -- we could do that could help either in the form of a map or providing some kind of data or anything? THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: We just -- I -- I would be interested in trying to contribute a little bit more to the community.

THOMAS BROWER III: For this, they got the trail map.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, you do. THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Of this one here?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, but it must be close, but anyway Garmin -- I use my Garmin a lot. Not just on the ice, but even on land.

Got to wait a little while. We might have to go outside if it --if I don’t acquire a satellite in here I might need to go outside.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: That would be great to actually have that trail there.

THOMAS BROWER III: But when I saw this I think it would benefit the captains. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: It would benefit the community. And it would start probably get more educated on how to use a GPS.

And go from Barrow to go help butcher the whale they won’t be going on wrong trail, and that would be benefit -- beneficial for search and rescue. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Be informed of the situation, especially with this, when I heard about this.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, I’m going to do it again next year and then the next year I --

Well, this year I came up for two weeks and then I have to go back to Fairbanks for two weeks to be with my wife. And then -- but I think next year I’m going to try to stay up here all spring so I can -- THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Have it more updated.

THOMAS BROWER III: Going out. It might be the -- updated program here. I haven’t done it yet. Okay, we're going out in the water.

The created this? MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. Can you zoom out?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, I got -- This -- There're others here. Where we was at, each other's trail -- that is -- There was -- I want to check for a whaling camp. Where they were butchering. Quvatch Ahsoak. You see that's where we was at.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: You were at this -- at the end of this line there? THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, right there in the middle. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So that was --

THOMAS BROWER III: Okay, Quvan, they was over here, I think. Ahsoak.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh Herman?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep, along with Roy Ahnashugak, and Gilbert . There was a bunch of crews here.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh okay. So in here somewhere?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. Uh-huh, but that’s where they were butchering a whale.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. And then you were somewhere then -- Oh there we go.

THOMAS BROWER III: Just for heck of it now, I was also just scouting around. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: See where I can go over here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. THOMAS BROWER III: See that trail. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, yeah, this is --

THOMAS BROWER III: This one here is this trail. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. THOMAS BROWER III: No. 1. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: And that was when I was just scouting around. Just came back. Stay out there.

Start going out around here. And I went down a little ways -- just scouting around and up. Come up to No. 16 is when they -- Ahsoak caught their whale. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But I didn’t have my GPS when I went to other areas, you know. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: But there was a lot of folks, so I didn't feel -- I won’t get lost. But all these trails were already in place. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And this was just running off my snowmachine. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: Snowmachine speed. And I hardly were using a differential GPS where you had to walk.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Well, I did it, but it -- this year is just pulling it with my shoulders. THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: And it's -- I enjoyed that, except for the snow made it hard -- the fresh snow that you talked about.

But I think I figured it out that I can actually put all this equipment on a -- THOMAS BROWER III: Sled? MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: A big sled. THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: And haul it just really slow. Cause I tried that out in late May and it worked fine, but I think next year I’ll just put it on a big sled.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, that's what -- there's when I got the Garmin. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. THOMAS BROWER III: And it's hard to get discs. This brand now. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: It is very hard, but people they say, keep the Garmin. I'll see. It has all my stuff in it. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh. Changed the model.

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep. And they’re smaller and I like this one.

I used to have a Magellan almost similar to this one, but it just got outdated.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah. Well, the reason that we use the differential is for to get this -- this height. THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: So.

THOMAS BROWER III: See what they only do if you can do the ice thickness like what you did here. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: I’ve done a similar project in Elson Lagoon. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: But we was going far and beyond that what the equipment you had.

But we had -- I had a guy from Seattle come up and make a different GP-- incorporated different GPS along with how thick the ice was where you had the bottom of the lake. This Elson Lagoon. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. THOMAS BROWER III: Bottom.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: He had that in the same -- ?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yep, but also on top of that how to -- it was kind of experimenting on the military equipment, but updating it to metal debris on the bit of the Elson Lagoon. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: So it was a combination. And yet we hit metal it would show how big it was.

But the thing was we had to use -- we had to make a sled -- no metal, all aluminum nails, plastic runners and everything. And we had a rope. We had to use manila rope.

And we had two antennas off the side of the sled and a big power pack of battery.

And it worked to so we had the top of the ice. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: The bottom of the ice. The bottom of the lake bed and then picking up after. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: All that work.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, yeah and our -- well, one of the things that I want to try to do next year is actually give these out to some of the captains as soon as it's THOMAS BROWER III: Uh-huh.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: I was learning how to do it this year so it was tough. But then we do have data for the bottoms, so we can put that in there, too, so you see where --

And then -- then you can see where some of these come down and ground to the bottom.

THOMAS BROWER III: See what they usually used before off Barrow one time were these depth fish finder. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: I used to do that in the -- a little bit of all these people --

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Just at -- at the edge?

THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah, right at the edge. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And it had a little beeper now -- beep. And not the seals, not the fish, but we had it calibrated to our -- it was big enough -- beep. It open the ice.

But I made my own bracket and it's straight down. Made a bracket that's 45 degrees from the edge of the ice. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: And okay whales coming this way, we'll point it that way.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Oh, so you actually see -- you can see the whales. THOMAS BROWER III: And I had a eight inch monitor.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Hm. And it worked to see the whales? THOMAS BROWER III: Yeah. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Wow.

THOMAS BROWER III: You could see the whales. It's a big black -- it's a screen just like ours. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Oh, this looking on a screen. It's a whale right there.

Okay, we find out what the black off screen was. It was blank out. You could hear a bleep, bloop and the screen blacks out.

And everybody would be at the skin boat ready waiting for them to come up.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Do you still use that?

THOMAS BROWER III: Not anymore. It was old technology. They got better ones now. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: You got better ones with the camera. Have to work camera, but a lot of people were to made to see what I was using. The fish finder were watching fish and they was amazed at seeing a lot of fish underneath.

I said look we know it's been there, we just never fish. This is why. Just lazy.

Even if they want -- Everybody wants everything too easy nowadays.

See one time me and my grandpa made a seal -- seal net. A 10 inch mesh with twine about 100 feet long. Handmade just to catch seals. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Because my grandpa's mother had a skin sewing shop, so as you're getting seal with no bullet hole, so with a hole on one end, they would start chwa . Okay, got a seal and pull it up. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: That would be on the pressure -- on the ice like that. Point to -- My grandfather would be on one side and I'd be on the other side to hold him.

So we'd walking around on this ice with a couple weights to hold onto it and move, pull it up. Whack the seal, skin it. No bullet hole. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Uh-huh.

THOMAS BROWER III: Just the way them days of -- they just like them, no bullet hole.

MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Huh. I never heard of that.

THOMAS BROWER III: Don’t see that no more. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: A lot of work. THOMAS BROWER III: But it's a lot of fun. MATTHEW DRUCKENMILLER: Yeah.

THOMAS BROWER III: And that’s where one learns to become patient by situate. And have to be patient like a government. One word at a time.

Government works at real slow pace. But it works.

Nowadays, everybody living on a fast lane. Even here it's getting -- life is starting to go fast like, you know, in Anchorage, you know, fast lane lifestyle. I don’t know how people can live like that.