Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Warren and Dorcas Neakok, Part 2
Warren and Dorcas Neakok

This is the continuation of an interview with Warren and Dorcas Neakok on January 5, 1980 by Ron Metzner for a project related to potential oil development of the Alaskan continental shelf. There is no location given for where the interview took place, but based on some of the comments made during the interview it sounds like it was not done at the Neakok's home in Point Lay, Alaska. Therefore, because the other interviews for this project were done in Barrow, Alaska, the assumption is that this one was also done there. Other interviews for this project appear in the Historical References to Ice Conditions Along the Beaufort Sea Coast of Alaska (Scientific Report, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1979), however the Neakok's interview was not included in the publication. In this second part of a two part interview, Warren is the main narrator and he talks about sea ice conditions around Point Lay, Cape Lisburne and Icy Cape, the effect of wind and current on the sea ice and the lagoon ice, ice pileups, and ice movement causing flooding. He also talks about getting caught on drifting sea ice when walrus hunting and seal hunting at open leads in the winter.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 97-64-12

Project: Sea Ice in Northern Alaska
Date of Interview: Jan 5, 1980
Narrator(s): Warren Neakok, Dorcas Neakok
Interviewer(s): Ronald Metzner
Transcriber: Karen Brewster
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


Flood at Qali in the 1940s

Feeling the 1964 Earthquake in Point Lay

Warren Neakok's childhood and living off the land

Wind and effect on safe ice conditions in the area of Wainwright, Point Lay, Ice Cape, Cape Lisburne and Cape Beaufort

Effect of current on ice conditions

Ice piling up at Cape Lisburne and having to take alternate travel route

Ice pile ups, and erosion near Point Lay's cemetery

Open leads in mid-winter

Ice scraping on top of islands, and winter and summer beach conditions causing different effects on water and ice

Ice movement inside the barrier islands, and river break-up flooding

The year the ice did not go out

1967 Fairbanks flood

Drifting out with the ice when walrus hunting

Ice cracking caused by pressure

Seal hunting at open lead

Ice pressure and cracking in ocean and lagoon

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


RON METZNER: This is January 5th, 1980, and we're continuing with Dorcas. Stuff that may -- we may not have gotten on the last tape because it stopped and didn't click off. Is that she never -- that she saw -- One of the times she saw grounded polar ice that stayed all summer was the year they couldn't get to Prudhoe Bay.

And the other thing she said that may not be on there was that the south wind raises the ice inside the lagoon.

And that in the lagoon the water flows over the top of the ice whereas outside the sea ice lifts together all with the high water.

And that the stuff can lift the ice in the lagoon any time of year if the water's right. The water and the wind. And that when it's lifted it moves around and can make ridges. Or scrape over the little islands inside the lagoon. If the water lifts it and it moves. Okay.

Okay, and I guess we're talking -- Would you talk about that flood, the big flood in Qali in the '40s or the '30s. When was that the really bad flood?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Oh, yeah. RON METZNER: When everybody moved to the --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause we have to move to -- there's a Qali. It's like a little hill. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Right on the beach. Qali. Point Lay. It's a hill. We call it Qali.

It's on the beach, one of the beach, you know. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I don't know how to -- RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Maybe I should tell story about it? RON METZNER: Okay, sure.

DORCAS NEAKOK: There's an old lady that pull that Qali. He cut it from the main side. From the main side.

Cut it with his ulu because his grandson want to have a green leaves. RON METZNER: Uh huh.


RON METZNER: So she was cutting? DORCAS NEAKOK: She cut piece off and drag it home.

RON METZNER: Pieces, like piece of tundra?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Right across Qali point. And it's there.

RON METZNER: And that's where the hill's there?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's where we keep our cold storage. We call it cold storage. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's where -- RON METZNER: Is it in the hill? DORCAS NEAKOK: -- 40s. That's where we go up.

RON METZNER: Okay. DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause -- RON METZNER: Now, what happened? DORCAS NEAKOK: -- water --

RON METZNER: What happened in the 40s? How did this -- what happened?

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind. RON METZNER: South wind.

DORCAS NEAKOK: November 16. I never forget it. RON METZNER: November 16.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I was 15 RON METZNER: And you were 15.

DORCAS NEAKOK: About 15 years or 16, 17. I don't know. Anyway, I was teenager.

RON METZNER: In the '40s And it was November 16th and what happened? The south wind --

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind. RON METZNER: Did water come first or -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Water come with the --- water come first. Just like tidal waves. Start to run over the houses. Between the houses.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. And so everybody -- What happened?

DORCAS NEAKOK: I was babysitting all the time for Ukpiksoun's. I put one of them in my back -- Dog team.



RON METZNER: Ok, so you were babysitting Ukpiksoun's, so you had a kid.

DORCAS NEAKOK: With their mother and Daddy we have to go out with dog team. Water run over us, you know. We just hold on to the sled and then stay up there in those ice house with a cold storage.

Our little houses. South wind blow like here.

RON METZNER: How long did you stay there?


RON METZNER: It was one day that the water was so high?

DORCAS NEAKOK: So high. RON METZNER: And then it went down?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Lagoon break up is -- this part, you know, the ice was -- November 16 about two feet.

RON METZNER: Uh huh, yeah. Okay. Okay, and the water was so high you -- everybody had to go up to the hill.


DORCAS NEAKOK: And after that we never really do that again.

RON METZNER: Not as -- so there's not been another storm like that? DORCAS NEAKOK: Not as bad as that. RON METZNER: Yeah, since that one. Okay. Um.

DORCAS NEAKOK: The ocean, you know. RON METZNER: Right.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Didn't have any slush.

RON METZNER: No slush, just open water? DORCAS NEAKOK: It's -- yeah.

RON METZNER: Oh, when that storm happened?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Anyway, that take the ice out. RON METZNER: Okay. DORCAS NEAKOK: You know.

RON METZNER: Took the ice out? DORCAS NEAKOK: Keep the water clean. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: No slush ice. That's why the water hit us. It start to run over the -- between the houses and then overnight slush ice come in. Break the breakers.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's blow it down. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Do you know what time of the year that slushy ice -- I'm Warren Neakok.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Maybe I should stop talking? WARREN NEAKOK: And this slushy ice that developing up --

DORCAS NEAKOK: I should stop talking?

RON METZNER: Yeah, pretty soon. I -- you --

WARREN NEAKOK: No, no, I mean mid-part of --


WARREN NEAKOK: Before the mid-part of November, there's slush ice.


RON METZNER: Come in. Okay. Warren, you're next. Just a second.

Another thing that may not have gotten on here was that Warren and Dorcas were listening to the radio Sunday when the earthquake happened in Anchorage . DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And they were listening to the Anchorage station. The Anchorage station quit. And then they felt -- DORCAS NEAKOK: It hit us.

RON METZNER: They heard a bang. And they felt it.

DORCAS NEAKOK: We even see our ice broke.

RON METZNER: And -- and the ice was all cracked up off shore. And they switched to the Fairbanks station and it said that there had just been an earthquake in Anchorage.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. You know what? RON METZNER: That was Easter. '64.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It was Good Friday.

RON METZNER: Good Friday, I'm sorry. Yes, it was Friday.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It even hit our cold storage. RON METZNER: Did it?

DORCAS NEAKOK: It was cracked this much?

RON METZNER: Really? Two or three inches?

DORCAS NEAKOK: You know, down parkas? RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: We had to put -- dip them in water and blankets. Down blankets. Down sleeping bags. We have to patch it up. RON METZNER: Oh, to fill the crack in your -- in your --?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Sure, about that much. RON METZNER: In your -- In your -- Oh. Maybe four to six inches? Huh. Or that much?

DORCAS NEAKOK: You could -- we could -- we use a mops.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. To stuff stuff in the cracks?

DORCAS NEAKOK: In the cracks. RON METZNER: In your ice cellar?

DORCAS NEAKOK: To patch it. Ice cellar. RON METZNER: Okay, that's pretty bad. DORCAS NEAKOK: Siġḷuaq. RON METZNER: Siġḷuaq.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's a cold storage. Summer time is all the meat stay frozen. Like refridgerator. RON METZNER: Right. Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Warren's turn? RON METZNER: Warren's turn, yeah.

He's gonna also talk about the walrus hunt, right?


I might review whatever you already tell about.

DORCAS NEAKOK: No. Summan, you talk just the way you want. I'm not talking about --

RON METZNER: Okay, we'll stop for a second.

WARREN NEAKOK: Hey, Mr. Ron Metlzer, how you pronounce your last name? Metzler?

RON METZNER: Metzner, yeah.

Yeah. Warren Neakok from Point Lay. RON METZNER: Okay, pleased to meet you. WARREN NEAKOK: Old time resident.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Okay, Warren.

WARREN NEAKOK: And now give me a question, see --

RON METZNER: Where were you born?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, I was born between Point Lay and Wainwright. The way my record comes up.

RON METZNER: Okay. And how old are you?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, I'm 56 years old. Shoot.

RON METZNER: And when were you born?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, 4th of July, 1922. RON METZNER: Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: Right.

RON METZNER: Now, why don't you talk about where you've been since you were a boy? Where all you lived.

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, I lived there since I get to know like a little kid. About 9 or 8 year old. I was raised from my grandfather, Old Man Neakok.

My grandmother. That's what they -- They adopted me out of my own parents. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: And then when I get to know, way back, around maybe when I get to about 11 years old, that's the time I start my school.

At Point Lay. We lived down about twenty -- fifteen some miles out of Point Lay village. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's where my grandfather had a hunting area there.

RON METZNER: Were you south of Point Lay? WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Let me tell you, which is about 20 miles down below. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's where I was raised. And I know all about what my grandfather, Old Man Neakok -- I know they netting out every summer. RON METZNER: The what?

WARREN NEAKOK: Netting. RON METZNER: Netting from the beach? Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Set out the nets everywhere they travel. Always make a circle around.

Every summer. Every year. From this old cabin. What I say is a Neakok. Yeah. Neakok. Right across from there to the beach side. RON METZNER: UP to the -- from the -- WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: From the land to the islands or -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: Right, right.

RON METZNER: You put the nets?

WARREN NEAKOK: And from there, I get the -- when the rivers flow, you know, they take us across there and remain there. Right -- right to the beach side.

RON METZNER: Now wait -- now wait, you put your net from just the north side of the Kokpowruak to the -- WARREN NEAKOK: Ii. Tavra. RON METZNER: Across, okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: We can go across there and then they remain there and get our ugruk and seal.

RON METZNER: You're netting -- you're netting seals?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. And they do the netting toward no -- . But not this time. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: But this time in this area. But they waited for the beluga to come up. And ugruk hunting for seal oil. RON METZNER: Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: To -- DORCAS NEAKOK (in background):

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. I know what I mean. Right over here.

DORCAS NEAKOK: You ask and I'll tell.

RON METZNER: Okay. What was this? What?

WARREN NEAKOK: I think I am going a little too far on --

RON METZNER: Okay, okay, yeah, okay so where -- where have you been hunting? Do you mainly hunt -- were you mainly hunting around Point Lay? Or did you get further south or north? WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah.

RON METZNER: What area did you travel? WARREN NEAKOK: I go as far as Pingmeak and all the way around the Iglu. Around the area. And mostly between Wainwright and there. And most of the time my hunting area is the best place to hunt is as far as that -- oh, that, what they call that Tulugaq

RON METZNER: Up near Utukok? WARREN NEAKOK: Cape --

RON METZNER: Cape Lisburne?

WARREN NEAKOK: Uh, this side of Cape Lisburne. What they call this?

RON METZNER: Cape Beaufort? DORCAS NEAKOK: Cape Beaufort. WARREN NEAKOK: Cape Beaufort, yeah. RON METZNER: Okay, so from Cape Beaufort up to Wainwright? WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah.

RON METZNER: That's your -- pretty much your area?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's a good area. From there. From Point Lay all the way down from Cape Beaufort, right there. And around this area.

RON METZNER: Inland? A lot -- WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: In a circle, inland. From those places. WARREN NEAKOK: Ii.

RON METZNER: Okay. Tell me about -- tell me about when it's safe to be out hunting on the sea ice. What kind of -- what kind of winds are safe?

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, the sea ice any time of the month that was the -- I would suggest that last month ago. November. The sea ice just start the slushing up, you know.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. It slushes up?

WARREN NEAKOK: What they call -- some people call young ice, you know.

RON METZNER: Young ice. In November.

WARREN NEAKOK: For the first time that -- RON METZNER: Sikuliaq? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Start freezing up.

RON METZNER: In November? WARREN NEAKOK: But later on -- and then it starts freezing up.

But by the way, according to the wind. Wind, you know.The northeast or northwest winds, southwest winds, whatever. You know, that take care of that.

RON METZNER: Wait, what do you do with a northeast wind? What does that do?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh that -- About the what we're talking about, that slushy ice. It -- it carries it out.

RON METZNER: A northeast wind carries it out? WARREN NEAKOK: Right. Right.

RON METZNER: What's it -- How about a northwest wind?

WARREN NEAKOK: Northwest wind, that carry that in. Go right along from this northeast coast. And -- and -- this bay here. What I was telling you about a bit ago, that pushes in.

RON METZNER: Okay, so it comes -- it comes along the coast and gets caught down by Cape Beaufort. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: -- to Cape Lisburne. WARREN NEAKOK: This one here.

RON METZNER: And tightens it down that way.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. This is a -- the way it looks to me, this is kinda -- kinda flat on me. But it -- kinda --

RON METZNER: It curves more?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. More current like that. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Point Hope around there. Point Lay right there. And this here.

RON METZNER: Okay, the map's not curved enough. WARREN NEAKOK: Hm. Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay. Now, what about at -- we -- we talked about northeast, northwest. How about a southeast wind? What's that do?

WARREN NEAKOK: Southeast wind is that really takes all the ice off of the coast all the way through. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: As far as I know. As far as Barrow and down to Point Hope. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: The northeast winds. DORCAS NEAKOK: This is Cape Lisburne. WARREN NEAKOK: Cape Lisburne, that's really carry the ice out all of a sudden.

RON METZNER: Okay. Southeast wind? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Southeast wind?

WARREN NEAKOK: Southeast wind that blow in with the warm wind like that, you know. RON METZNER: The warm wind.

WARREN NEAKOK: As soon as it crashed up and the high tide comes up same time with it.

RON METZNER: Okay, so it -- it -- it -- A warm wind from the southeast produces high tide and cracks the ice up.

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. That give ocean -- ocean water give a lot of pressure on it. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And crack that ice up and tear that thing away. As long as the wind blow in, the wind just carry that ice pack, you know.

RON METZNER: Okay. Now, let's pretend we've got a southeast wind. And it's broken the ice up and raised the water, does it continue blowing southeast or does it change direction?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's right. And sometimes we lose the -- supposing I'm telling you that the ice we already got there, it might be safe enough we got out for seal hunting just in case that wind what we're talking about now. And now it come up.

Now. It blow up from the southeast wind. Or southwest wind. And it put about so much pressure on the ocean -- ocean water that it cracked up.

We can never tell how far out from the village side, from the beach side. They don't know where. RON METZNER: Okay. So that --

WARREN NEAKOK: Or right in the beach.

RON METZNER: It -- it can crack right up against the beach?

WARREN NEAKOK: Right, right. Anywhere.

RON METZNER: And then can it -- then -- then what moves it out?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, that's the -- that's the -- not the wind but that ocean water that high pressure out of. That's what I thought. I used to think about it.

RON METZNER: It -- it moves? It moves the ice? WARREN NEAKOK: Right.

RON METZNER: But sometimes -- sometimes you've seen the ice move -- move out against the beach at Cape Beaufort? Move out -- away from the coast?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's what the -- carry that by the current, you know. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: We got a heavy current out in the ocean. We never can tell. Whenever -- I'm Eskimo. I used to hunt for long time in my home town, Point Lay.

Whenever I get down to the open lead, I throw a little block of --

RON METZNER: Ice? WARREN NEAKOK: What my old-timer used to tell me.

And then throw it out and see which way the current moving in. RON METZNER: Right.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Sometime it go right out. And sometime it coming in. And my old-timers used to tell me that if that -- if I throw that little piece of ice, the stro -- it go right out. And then that kinda dangerous if I have to go out further out. From the beach side. RON METZNER: Okay.


WARREN NEAKOK: I knew that.

RON METZNER: Okay, now what were you -- what were you saying about the -- the ice moving around?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's what -- that's what I was saying is that in time, whenever the ice breaks up and then all of a sudden -- even -- or later after the ice out of Point Lay get rotten. Hard to walk.

RON METZNER: Right. WARREN NEAKOK: And then everything all that. RON METZNER: This is springtime?

WARREN NEAKOK: And all of a sudden it broke off and then northeast wind blew in and then it crack off.

RON METZNER: And it takes the ice out?

WARREN NEAKOK: Went through the beach. Or further out about a quarter of a mile or so.

How many -- how many feet or so from the beach side? And it cracked up. It just dropped down.

And then it froze out when we get the weather -- wind from -- northeast wind or north wind. It drifted out.

And then when the -- after northeast wind and it turned to northwest wind, that's mean the -- I'm telling about the early break -- early break ice. Yeah. And then the -- when the wind change around, the current -- the current is pretty strong that draw out all the ice out, you know, from beach side. But when the wind blew up from this direction, it blow the ice in.

RON METZNER: Which direction?

WARREN NEAKOK: Uh, from northwest direction. That's what -- That's what I was saying right there. Right in the big bay between Cape Lisburne and here. Right there.

RON METZNER: Cape Lisburne and Point Lay?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, right there. Yeah. From Point Lay, right there. Yeah.

RON METZNER: So you say -- now you were saying the ice moved around in a circle?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's right. This one now, I'm talking about it now. When the northwest wind comes up, the ice pack -- as soon as it gets out from Point Lay, it just make a big circle and go right on the -- from the northwest wind. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's blowing in. And whenever -- and by the way, and all of a sudden it calmed down and it just remain there. Right here. Sometime in this area, there.

RON METZNER: Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: And then when the wind change from southwest and now from southwest wind, some part of it out of Cape Lisburne or from Point Hope -- RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: The ice -- that ice pack that turn in from wind or current. That give it more help.

RON METZNER: Okay, so a south -- a southwest -- a southwest wind up at Cape Lisburne, the ice tends to move in against shore?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, or even from Point Hope. That turned in.

RON METZNER: The wind changed? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Yeah. RON METZNER: South -- southwest wind became southeast? Or west. WARREN NEAKOK: Ii. Yeah. Right.

RON METZNER: Then the -- the ice comes in against the coast?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, right. And then when it really calm down, you gotta watch the current.

RON METZNER: Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: You know. When it's real calm, the current carries that ice pack, you know, either way.

RON METZNER: Okay. Is there -- can -- let's say down around Cape Beaufort, is there any time of year when the ice can not go out?

WARREN NEAKOK: Cape Beaufort, that's the only place which -- whenever the wind changes from each side because it's right, way back in the corner.

And then the -- when the wind don't change, it just melt out some blocks, you know. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: Big chunks of ice and it already cracked up after that south, heavy wind. RON METZNER: South wind, yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: Which -- which crack them up. But they -- but they remain there. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And then Cape Lisburne is a hard -- hard way to get through in wintertime either.

RON METZNER: Now, wait. Now, wait. Now, wait. Okay, so you're saying in springtime. You're talking about breakup ice?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's right. RON METZNER: Now what -- what -- WARREN NEAKOK: That's what it is. RON METZNER: What were you saying about Cape Lisburne?

WARREN NEAKOK: Cape Lisburne is pretty hard to go right on through.

RON METZNER: On the sea?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's a point right there.

RON METZNER: Because the ice piles up right there?

WARREN NEAKOK: Right there. That's the only one problem here. Right in the point.

RON METZNER: On the coast, it's really hard to travel?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. But because if you don't have to go right through --

DORCAS NEAKOK (in background): Ridges.

WARREN NEAKOK: What they call that? RON METZNER: Cape Lisburne.

WARREN NEAKOK: Akalolik. They got a road there behind the -- behind the mountains.

I travel through there so all the time so I don't know -- once I travel through there. That's the only one spot there. That's dangerous spot.

RON METZNER: Okay. Because of the ridges?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's right. DORCAS NEAKOK: The ocean. RON METZNER: Ocean side, yeah. Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's a -- that's a dangerous spot there. As soon as you could run around that point, according to the weather it hold up, that's okay. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: But when they kinda little wind, you can't go right around that point. Pretty hard ride.

RON METZNER: When there's not much wind? WARREN NEAKOK: No. RON METZNER: You can go?

WARREN NEAKOK: But as soon as you go around that point, oh, you're safe. You travel.

RON METZNER: It's -- it's -- it's good ice once you get around Cape Lisburne?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. But -- but this here, right in the beach, you gotta reach a little ridge, you know, where you could have your dog team. But down below, I could -- I don't think that that's long enough.

That Akalolik, that's why you go. And down below there. And that -- that litle cliff, it cut down. RON METZNER: There's a --

WARREN NEAKOK: You can fit your little sleigh right there. You have to climb up that mountain.

RON METZNER: Okay. So -- so -- so, now you're saying that there's a -- you have to climb -- there's cliffs coming down to the beach? WARREN NEAKOK: Right. Right.

RON METZNER: Okay. And you're saying that if you get a little ridge and you can't go?

WARREN NEAKOK: No. Oh way back down below that Akalolik. South side of it.

RON METZNER: Okay. There's a -- there's a trail? WARREN NEAKOK: Hm.

RON METZNER: There's a trail through the mountains -- WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: -- you can travel?


Another question. Have you ever seen ice pushed up on the beach making big piles?

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: Where did you see that?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, I seen that 1960 -- 57? 52? I've got a picture of it, I was telling you.

RON METZNER: Okay. That's the one in front of your mother's house?

WARREN NEAKOK: If I could find it. If I get home, I'll send it up to you. RON METZNER: Okay, that's the one -- WARREN NEAKOK: Make a better picture out of it. RON METZNER: -- by your mother's house?

WARREN NEAKOK: Enlarge it. That's my mom house. The sod house. And that big pile of ice ridge it showed up. I took a picture of it.

RON METZNER: How -- how far -- how far up and down the coast was the ice pushed on the beach?

DORCAS NEAKOK (in background): Up the -- you know, the beach. It go over. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, it should be about --

RON METZNER: But like was it -- was it three or four miles long?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Where we have houses is a little higher. But other side and south side it really go over.

RON METZNER: Okay, so it piled in front of where you had houses?

DORCAS NEAKOK: It didn't even pile some places.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. But some places it went over? DORCAS NEAKOK: It just -- just run over.

RON METZNER: But where your houses were -- ?

WARREN NEAKOK: You know that the lower ridge out from the ocean side, it only take about 200 -- 200 feet away. That's from the ridge. RON METZNER: 200 feet away?

WARREN NEAKOK: We're just about the ridge. Higher ridge. What --

it wasn't that way when I was a young man, you know. This place there was water. RON METZNER: Wait. WARREN NEAKOK: By the time I was --

RON METZNER: Now wait, now you're talking about the -- the island?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: And you're saying the island -- WARREN NEAKOK: Down the beach.

RON METZNER: Down the beach from -- from --

WARREN NEAKOK: Old village site.

RON METZNER: From the old village site? WARREN NEAKOK: Right? RON METZNER: The island used to be wider?

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. Right. RON METZNER: It's now not as wide? WARREN NEAKOK: Now --

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's sinking.

RON METZNER: It's -- it's washing away and --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: -- and maybe sinking? WARREN NEAKOK: Very well.

RON METZNER: Maybe sinking. Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay. So, that's changed from when you were a young man?


DORCAS NEAKOK: From '30s to -- RONG METZNER: From '30s to '70s? DORCAS NEAKOK: -- to '70s.

WARREN NEAOKOK: And there's one thing I could report is that just a little left-hand side of cemetery.

You know, that little hill -- you see that little hill down there?


RON METZNER: Qa -- The Qali. Okay. Where your -- where your -- where your cold storage is?


RON METZNER: Okay. Here.

WARREN NEAKOK: Down there. Which Qali, right there? Old village site. Okay, right here is our cemetery. Right on top of that hill. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: That toward the lagoon side. And then I was afraid this cut out. Cause to the DEW-line site they've been hauling gravel from there and it start -- and it start opening up now.


RON METZNER: Okay, so they're hauling gravel? South -- WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: -- of Qali.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, they -- they grab too much gravel out of that. And now it start opening.

RON METZNER: And the water's making an opening there? WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: It's opening up.

WARREN NEAKOK: Sometime it close in, sometime it open up. RON METZNER: I see.

WARREN NEAKOK: And what kill me is that our cemetery is right in the corner.

RON METZNER: Oh, so you think it might be eroding -- WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: -- from the water.

WARREN NEAKOK: That little hill there, because of the current it will come up right -- RON METZNER: It's eroding the south part of the island?

WARREN NEAKOK: Get right open. I'm afraid the cemetery --

RON METZNER: Will be eroded. WARREN NEAKOK: I've got to say that. RON METZNER: Yeah, right. WARREN NEAKOK: That's what happened. RON METZNER: Okay. Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's what I -- I was trying to suggest for how many years ago. RON METZNER: To -- to --

WARREN NEAKOK: Protect that cemetery. RON METZNER: I see.

WARREN NEAKOK: Because nobody -- nobody's problem. I know, DEW-line -- DEW-line is a problem. Wife knows about it. She's my witness. Right, right honey. RON METZNER: Right. Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. They've been hauling the gravel right from the same spot there. Right close to the cemetery.

And now sometimes it open up, sometimes it close in. And they got a heavy current on it.

I was afraid if it don't close in, it'll -- it'll start ruining that --

RON METZNER: Cemetery. WARREN NEAKOK: Cemetery, right. Right from the edge. DORCAS NEAKOK:

RON METZNER: Okay, did you ever see large op -- leads open up in mid-winter?


RON METZNER: Big leads open up? Did you ever see those? Big, big open water.

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. RON METZNER: In wintertime.

WARREN NEAKOK: Out in the ocean.

RON METZNER: How far out from Point Lay?

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, some of the time according to the weather, you know. The wind.

Sometimes I didn't happen to see no open lead last year ago. It's been closed in.

RON METZNER: Last year?WARREN NEAKOK: According to the wind.

RON METZNER: What kind of wind makes the big open lead?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, nor -- southwest. RON METZNER: Southwest wind? WARREN NEAKOK: And northwest wind. RON METZNER: And northwest. WARREN NEAKOK: That closes in.

RON METZNER: Now, northwest closes it in. What opens it?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, I know. RON METZNER: What wind is open?

WARREN NEAKOK: Northeast wind that opens it. RON METZNER: Northeast opens the lead? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. Same thing with -- like the one all of a sudden it curve as soon as the warm weather like this, you know.

RON METZNER: Now wait, what happens all of a sudden with warm weather?

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, that causes it -- I tell you we are -- supposing we have a forty or fifty below zero right now and it's real clear and then the next day having to wake up, pretty cloudy.

You know, we can't see no sun at all. It's real warm out there. That's what -- Now. And I see out in the ocean.

RON METZNER: Okay, and we've talked about ice on top of the islands and over the islands that time in the '60s.

Did you -- did you ever see the tops of the islands scraped off? Ice scraped the islands off?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. I do. In the first place right in the Igivik.

RON METZNER: Where's that?

WARREN NEAKOK: You see that, the beach side?

RON METZNER: Here, here, here. Here's a pencil.

WARREN NEAKOK: There's a peak there. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And there's a -- there's a cemetery right there. RON METZNER: Right.

WARREN NEAKOK: And all the cold storage right there. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And the old village site down there.

RON METZNER: Alright, old village. WARREN NEAKOK: Right here, way back here. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: It's only about quarter a mile or less, or so. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's the only place where we could go right across in.

RON METZNER: Now, wait.


RON METZNER: Where -- where is the -- where is the ocean?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, there's the ocean.

RON METZNER: Okay, and this is the lagoon.

WARREN NEAKOK: This ridge here is -- you know, when the wind changes -- in summertime it's okay because that spit it's always so hot, you know, it never freeze all summer long.

RON METZNER: Okay, now wait, when the spit is -- is -- is thawed, what -- what's alright?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: When it's warm, why is that alright?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Why? Why? Is that okay?



DORCAS NEAKOK: -- the sand is --

WARREN NEAKOK: Okay, okay, honey, honey, you already talked. Let me talk.

RON METZNER: Okay, because the sand -- WARREN NEAKOK: And then -- DORCAS NEAKOK: You answer --

WARREN NEAKOK: You know, early ,early in November, it start freezing up.

RON METZNER: The spit's frozen?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, the fine sand right in the beach -- RON METZNER: Freezes?

WARREN NEAKOK: Ocean, beach, start freezing up. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And then after it start freezing up, early -- around the mid of November. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's the time my -- in my hometown. I watch it so all the time. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And then the -- when the high tide comes up, it start -- rough coming up.

High tide. RON METZNER: It goes -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. And then in summertime, you -- I could see that in summertime it doesn't matter.

Whenever the rough comes down, they just sink down, right down, because all that -- usually was all thawed down.

RON METZNER: Okay, you're saying in the summer when it's thawed -- ?

WARREN NEAKOK: Who's talking about?

RON METZNER: You're saying it's -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: Mister, mister. Roy. RON METZNER: Ron. Metzner. Yeah. WARREN NEAKOK: Metzler, yeah. Okay.

RON METZNER: You're -- you're saying it's -- it's better when it's thawed? WARREN NEAKOK: Hm?

RON METZNER: Than when it's frozen. You're saying the spit is better when it's thawed.

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. And I was going to tell you about this -- when the spit, real fine sand when it froze in, the water start coming up mostly at the time. RON METZNER: Okay, so when -- ?

WARREN NEAKOK: And then everytime when we get a southwest wind it -- it really come up because this sand side there is froze up all the way up. On the beach side.


WARREN NEAKOK: And then after that time -- after northeast wind, or something like that, northeast wind, southwest wind, calm or something like a 20 or 30 miles an hour, and all of a sudden when the wind change, later around November that's the time.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. WARREN NEAKOK: Everything is all frozed up.

And then that's the time the water -- RON METZNER: Comes over? WARREN NEAKOK: Starts to -- start coming up. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: Running over that beach side.

RON METZNER: Okay. Cause it's frozen? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: If the beach is thawed, the water soaks in? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: And doesn't come up? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: And that beach side is all frozen all the way out. RON METZNER: Okay. So --

WARREN NEAKOK: And then the water just coming right on up. RON METZNER: Comes over.

WARREN NEAKOK: Between the buildings over there.

RON METZNER: Okay. It just comes over when it's frozen. WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: Doesn't come over when it's thawed. Soaks -- WARREN NEAKOK: Right. RON METZNER: Seems to soak in. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay. Let's see. Did you ever see the ice inside of the barrier islands move around? WARREN NEAKOK: Where?

RON METZNER: Did you ever see the ice in here, in the lagoon, move around a lot?

WARREN NEAKOK: There the lagoon is -- which break-up this our river there.

RON METZNER: When your river breaks up?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Whenever the river breaks up. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: And it just throw everything all out.

RON METZNER: It moves the ice around?

WARREN NEAKOK: But it blocked up -- it almost run over our -- our location down there.

RON METZNER: When the -- okay, when it's blocked up, the river floods? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: On top of the islands?

WARREN NEAKOK: Go up to the -- almost up to the -- the water level. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: You know, the ground level. RON METZNER: The new -- the new village almost gets flooded? WARREN NEAKOK: It go right over it.

RON METZNER: Okay, when the river floods in -- in spring? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay, so you get -- you get some ice moving and you get water on top?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's right. The water right along with it when it break up.

RON METZNER: Okay. WARREN NEAKOK: That -- that was June, July.

DORCAS NEAKOK: On the lagoon.

WARREN NEAKOK: No, that river. That river.

DORCAS NEAKOK: No. Lagoon --

WARREN NEAKOK: As soon as it break up. And then when -- by the water, that means when we get too much snow on the -- on the tundra, you know.

RON METZNER: You get -- you get the river. WARREN NEAKOK: Around this area. RON METZNER: The river breaks up.

WARREN NEAKOK: And almost flooded.

RON METZNER: Almost floods, okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. And when we don't get enough snow, we don't -- don't bother us too much.

RON METZNER: Okay. Did you ever see ice during storms washed up on the islands, in summertime? Old pieces of ice left over?

WARREN NEAKOK: No. The only ones that we know is my wife and I self late July.

DORCAS NEAKOK: You leave me out of it.

WARREN NEAKOK: That time -- you heard about the Northstar, what -- RON METZNER: No.

WARREN NEAKOK: They didn't landed here at Barrow. And they going to unload their groceries or everything.

RON METZNER: This year?

WARREN NEAKOK: No. Last -- how many years ago was that?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's the time when they --

WARREN NEAKOK: Just the -- How many years ago?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN : That's the time when --

WARREN NEAKOK: I never go out. What year was that? DORCAS NEAKOK: Prudhoe Bay.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN : '74, maybe? DORCAS NEAKOK: Same year.

RON METZNER: That was the year that -- ?

WARREN NEAKOK: That probably is '74 or '75.

RON METZNER: The year the ice didn't go out? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And they couldn't -- WARREN NEAKOK: Ice never get out. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: The reason why is the wind keep round from same direction. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: All every other month.

RON METZNER: It kept the ice in.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's what happened.

RON METZNER: Okay. Okay. Let me see. Tell me about the flood. The big flood in the '40s.

WARREN NEAKOK: I could tell you one flood I was -- I was on vacation way back around -- What year was it? I have to swam out of Fairbanks.

RON METZNER: What was that?

DORCAS NEAKOK: He's talking about big flood.

RON METZNER: Oh, Fairbanks flood.


RON METZNER: No, I wasn't. What happened? What were you --- You were in Fairbanks?

WARREN NEAKOK: When I go on leave from DEW-line station, the it's been raining the time -- Before we left, it's been raining.

RON METZNER: So you went to Fairbanks?

WARREN NEAKOK: It was raining. And then we got --

RON METZNER: You were in Fairbanks during the big -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. My vacation time out of DEW-line. RON METZNER: -- flood in '67? Oh, that's no fun.


DORCAS NEAKOK: He walked across the street --

WARREN NEAKOK: I will tell you --

RON METZNER: Up to your chest, up to your arm pits.

WARREN NEAKOK: Were you there?

RON METZNER: No. I heard about it. I missed it.

WARREN NEAKOK: Where were you at?

RON METZNER: I was in Texas, then.

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh yeah. RON METZNER: Yeah. That's right.

WARREN NEAKOK: I'm -- I'm telling you, man.

RON METZNER: That's good. That's good.

WARREN NEAKOK: Whenever I have to -- make it right across up to the --

RON METZNER: That's right. That's amazing.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: That's a heckuva deal. WARREN NEAKOK: That's my vacation. That's wonderful is --

DORCAS NEAKOK: He walked across the street.

RON METZNER: Okay, tell me -- tell me about the time you were walrus hunting? And you were out for seven days.

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, July -- July is a month.

RON METZNER: Well, you remember what year this was?

WARREN NEAKOK: Well, what year was that?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Mostly every spring. WARREN NEAKOK: Every spring.

RON METZNER: You go walrus hunting? DORCAS NEAKOK: June and July. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: But I myself, I used to help when I was a young man. Old-timers. But now, I'm not -- I'm not hunting for walrus no more.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. But what was the story you wanted him to tell, Dorcas?

DORCAS NEAKOK: We don't have any dogs.

RON METZNER: No -- no more dogs? No, but what was the story? You had a story.

WARREN NEAKOK: I've got a good story. I gotta -- I gotta -- I gotta good -- I gotta good gas dog alright, but I don't trust it. I like dogs better.

RON METZNER: Yeah, you like dogs better than --

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. They don't break down. I don't trust my gas dog.

RON METZNER: Okay. Your gas dog, snowmachine. WARREN NEAKOK: Whatever.

DORCAS NEAKOK: When you was washed out in the ocean, why?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, I was gonna tell you about it. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: I was washed out the one time. I was a young -- young man. And had my dad -- my dad with me.

And then we were about eight of us in the crew. We got one Eskimo, one round and one skin boat. One whale boat.

But two -- two dories behind us. That little launch was pretty low, you know, with a cut -- cut tail on it.

RON METZNER: Yeah, small one.

WARREN NEAKOK: So, our captain going to take us up. Then okay, everybody volunteer, okay. Go out. Get those walrus.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. So you're way out in the ocean in a little launch looking for walrus?

]WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, but we miss all the walrus and we only get one. We just tiny one.

And then by the time they start -- they took off with us. That heavy fog just drop in.

]RON METZNER: Lots of fog. What -- this was July? What year was this, do you remember?

WARREN NEAKOK: What year was that? 7?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's before you and I get married.

WARREN NEAKOK: No, that -- that was -- that was '39.

RON METZNER: When did you -- You guys got married in '39? WARREN NEAKOK: '47.


That was around '30 -- '40, 1940, somewhere around, close to it anyway.

RON METZNER: Okay, so you're -- you're in the boat and in the fog?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. And the bossman, he knows. He's a big strong man. We got to do whatever he say, you know. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: And we got 'round. We remain out there, out in the ocean.

Nobody know -- nobody know go nowhere. Get lost. Lost everyday. You can't see no sun at all, either. RON METZNER: No.

WARREN NEAKOK: No. They told us we've been out here about a week now. Ten days.

Now there's nothing we can do. I -- our little chapped up, all over where -- we're right in the middle of them. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

WARREN NEAKOK: And they got to protect our boat. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Got the outside of that launch, we got two more boats. One umiaq and one whale boat.

RON METZNER: Okay, and so you're -- you're surrounded by little pieces of ice.

WARREN NEAKOK: All that current -- all that current is going somewhere. I don't know, they can't -- they can't understand which way the current is going on.

RON METZNER: So you're in this -- Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Well, my dad he's got a compass.

RON METZNER: He's got a -- okay, he's got a compass?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. My dad he's got a compass. He always carry it from my grandfather he give it to carry that.

Now, finally, some half of them take a nap, some of them take care of the boat all night long. Then no sun at all. Fog, fog all over. I was young man. I wasn't worried.

RON METZNER: Yeah. You didn't know any better.

WARREN NEAKOK: I was about -- how old was I that time? RON METZNER: '39.


WARREN NEAKOK: Maybe 13. 15 years old. Something like that. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: I -- I wasn't worried about it. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: But my dad told me, "Okay. Sonny, I take you home." Whatever. My dad tell me, "Sonny, I take you home. I got a compass."

Want to see what I'm worrying about my mama. I want to see my mama. RON METZNER: Okay. Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. And then took off, finally.

Then there is a real calm, but the cloud is down, all the way down to the bottom of the ocean side.

I thought oh well, push it -- it's all crushed up -- just like these here. RON METZNER: Little pieces.

WARREN NEAKOK: You can -- you can -- you can climb up on them. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: And then, the captain was saying there's water roaring somewhere. The wind start blowing somewhere. I think there's a open water up there somewhere.

And then we start heading for it. So everybody take over and start take care of the three boats behind us. That little oar one. In this weather. Finally we start getting through. Break up ice, you know. Chop into little pieces. But it all gone.

All in pieces in the same place. There's no way you can walk -- You can't get out there off of the boat. You can't stand on them. Just like a ball each one of them. And then the -- they head -- they head for that sound of the roaring. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: You know the wave. RON METZNER: Hm mm. Hm. mm.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Finally, we start hitting the ice that driving up. Now, we're pretty close right now.

RON METZNER: To the open water?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, outside of that. But nobody knows where we at. RON METZNER: Right.

WARREN NEAKOK: But we drifted way out. I wasn't worried. I was a young man. Because, Dad -- I got my dad.

RON METZNER: And he's got the compass, too.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Then when they go back, cut around, but then when they get out of that ice, Dad put up his compass.

North, northeast. That old engineer, he want to find out which way -- which way we turn. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

WARREN NEAKOK: Kinda foggy, you know. It was hard to hit where that -- east -- east wind. RON METZNER: East:?

WARREN NEAKOK: Right. We hit them with that.

No, Dad take care of that. Finally they take me over to handle that rudder, you know. RON METZNER: Of the boat?

WARREN NEAKOK: You know, the handle. RON METZNER: Yeah. So you're steering -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: I done it. RON METZNER: Good. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. I done it. RON METZNER: Good.

WARREN NEAKOK: Whenever -- whenever my dad sit -- sit right in the corner, "Warrenmurauq, turn a little bit this way." I'd turn that handle on the rudder.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. So you were steering?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Okay, right there. Dad told me we'll -- we'll hit the beach. RON METZNER: Right.

WARREN NEAKOK: Right there. Yeah. Somewhere. You can't even see nothing.

I asked my dad, "Dad, that mean -- ? Dad tried to comfort me, you know. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: I never know. I wasn't worried. Because I was a young man. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: I know -- but I know how to handle that rudder, you know. Which way to turn.

Yeah, we got in -- and we was about 5 degrees off of that beach head. Past the inlet up to north. Between the Icy Cape and here.


RON METZNER: So you were -- you were up -- up here? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Just --

WARREN NEAKOK: That's where -- that's where I was heading.

RON METZNER: The last -- the very last inlet?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's a -- that big mound there. And you look at the -- just the left hand side of that opening. Yeah. Right on there.

RON METZNER: How many -- how many days were you adrift?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, about a -- about a week.

RON METZNER: You were about a week? And you -- DORCAS NEAKOK: He say 10 days.


RON METZNER: 10 days? And you went from Point Lay? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And you drifted out to Icy Cape?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. From there to Icy Cape we went out. The captain take us out and from then we never come back.

About a week. We remain outside about 10 days out.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. And when you came back you hit by Icy Cape?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh by the time we kill her way down there. Where's that -- ?

RON METZNER: Here's Point Lay.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Right here. That's Utukok. Utukok. We hit that opening right near the pass. That's little north side of it there's a -- there's a mound there. I think that's where it is.

RON METZNER: Now wait a minute. Now wait. Now wait. Did you hit the pass in front of the Utukok or did you hit the pass in --

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, Utukok. Yeah.

RON METZNER: Or in front of Icy Cape?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. No, Utukok. RON METZNER: Utukok Pass.

WARREN NEAKOK: That what they call that Utuqainak. Those little mountains.

RON METZNER: Okay, little mountains. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay, okay, alright. So -- WARREN NEAKOK: I got --

RON METZNER: There wasn't any current? Much? Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's a high spot. You could spot it. DORCAS NEAKOK: Against the current.

RON METZNER: Against the current? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, when you're supposed --

WARREN NEAKOK: That's the highest --

RON METZNER: Oh, against the current, I see. Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: That's the highest spot that you could find out from the ocean.

RON METZNER: Okay. By Utukok? Alright. Okay.

Let's see, what else. I think we got it. You want to talk about anything else about ice?

WARREN NEAKOK: No. High pressure ice. Time of the year is most of November. RON METZNER: November?

WARREN NEAKOK: November is the time that the -- that settle down the ocean ice.

Too much pressure up and down that really crush it up.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. November, crushes.

WARREN NEAKOK: And by the way, after it's settled down, some cracks, you know, out in the ocean side.

Sometimes early springtime, when they had a real warm wind from the southwest, that really cracks it up, too.

RON METZNER: Southwest WARREN NEAKOK: There's a lot of different -- RON METZNER: -- crack it?


RON METZNER: In springtime. Yeah. Dorcas, what? You were going to say something.


WARREN NEAKOK: You know, one time -- it's a hard life for we Eskimos, you know. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: And when -- when there's no open lead on the ocean, the only -- only time we've been living for dog feed, for our own food. That sure is a hard life.

RON METZNER: No seals?

WARREN NEAKOK: No seals. RON METZNER: When there's only --

WARREN NEAKOK: No open water. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: No way. RON METZNER: So then -- then -- then what do you go for?

WARREN NEAKOK: What -- what we do is our dogs start starving. You know, we don't have no dog feed. RON METZNER: Right.

DORCAS NEAKOK: You know, you go out hunting. Look for lead for 2 days.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. One time I done it. For 2 days I travel a lot. Cause I was --

DORCAS NEAKOK: The water opened it straight up to Barrow from Point Hope. WARREN NEAKOK: And from -- RON METZNER: Uh huh. This way?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. And we had to -- WARREN NEAKOK: -- from far away straight out one time. I was -- I want to keep my dogs.

RON METZNER: So you had to go -- ? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, nobody with me. RON METZNER: -- way out? To find --

WARREN NEAKOK: I have to take them out to the ocean.

RON METZNER: What year was that? Do you remember?


DORCAS NEAKOK: She was 2 years old.

WARREN NEAKOK: 2 years old. Yeah. When my daughter was 2 years old. DORCAS NEAKOK: 29 years ago.

RON METZNER: 29 years ago. Okay. So you had the -- lead was --

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. I went out by dogteam. I get my Primus stove out there roaring. Little kerosene stove. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: Burn. And I went out and I saw the whole day and came out to the ocean. And the next day, I took off again.

I travel just to and I hit the little opening. The little crack. RON METZNER: Little lead? Hm mm.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. The little crack. Look around and grab my rifle. I'm gonna seal. Shot it. Grab one. I don't have no dog feed. RON METZNER: Yeah.

WARREN NEAKOK: So I fed 'em. Now I remain there, all by myself.

RON METZNER: So you're camping by the lead?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Yeah, right at the lead.

Then I said as far as I can . I lost 3 seals. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: I had to wallk all the way home. I gotta save my dogs. Cause my only equipment hunting.

Start raising my first born kids then. I gotta have.

Then the next day, this morning, I woke up in that little snow house. I get down in the little snow house. Put my Primus stove in. Keep warm.

I got a caribou skin sleeping bag and everything.

RON METZNER: That's good. WARREN NEAKOK: And warm me up. I don't worry about it.

RON METZNER: Dorcas made that, huh?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Sometimes I help her out. I show them, too, at the same time.

And then I don't have to worry. I always be warm. I got a little heat in my little snow house.

And next day, early in the morning, before daylight time, woke up. Look around. Still open a little bit alright. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

WARREN NEAKOK: But I got another 3 more seals. And that ocean ice close in. RON METZNER: I see.

WARREN NEAKOK: So, well, I got 5, 6 seals altogether.

RON METZNER: Uh huh, and then you had to go back 2 days? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. I had to load them up, feed my dogs, and take them right on home with me. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: Mama said she cut off for me alright.

RON METZNER: You were gone what 3 or 4 days?

DORCAS NEAKOK: fresh seal meat. It was good.

WARREN NEAKOK: It was good. That -- that take care of my dogs. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, make them more healthier, you know.

DORCAS NEAKOK: One of your dogs was me.

RON METZNER: Okay. Okay. You want to stop now? Is that enough? DORCAS NEAKOK: Put it off.

RON METZNER: Unless you can think of some more.

WARREN NEAKOK: I think I put up all of what I knew of -- that ice pressure, you know. That -- that really pushed it in. Then after the pressure, it just remains there.

RON METZNER: The ice pressure brings it in? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And after the pressure, it stays there?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Same thing with that lagoon.

RON METZNER: With the lagoon?

WARREN NEAKOK: Between old village site. DORCAS NEAKOK: You call them islands. RON METZNER: The islands?

WARREN NEAKOK: When the ocean water . It come right in. There's so many places down there. And --

RON METZNER: There's so many what? WARREN NEAKOK: And it blew up and it cracked the ice up.

RON METZNER: Okay, the pressure cracks the ice?

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. That's right.

RON METZNER: Okay, okay. Alright, maybe we'll stop for now? Thank you very much.