Rachel Thompson

The Other Side of the Ice by @TheobaldSprague #Excerpt #Family #Climate

Before grabbing a book and heading below, I took a stroll out on deck to try and gather in the towering strength and beauty of the mountains that surrounded our still and peaceful anchorage, perhaps the most stunning I’d ever seen. Low, shrub-covered flats quickly ran up to rocky foothills that rose straight up into the monstrous snow-covered peaks. It was an area waiting to be hiked and explored but, for me at least, only after a good night’s sleep. Sometime during the past day, we had crossed an invisible line that moved everyday thinking to a seldom-visited level.
We were anchored now in an area much more raw, powerful, and potentially threatening than we had experienced. On our way into this amazing paradise, we encountered, for the first time, charts that simply didn’t have complete soundings, no channel markers, no warning of shoals or hidden rock outcroppings. While we weren’t exactly flying blind, we were navigating in an area of greatly reduced information. Not for the first time in the trip the thought struck, “If we stick here, we are screwed.”
This new level of thinking and awareness was debilitating, a slowly circling feeling of expected isolation and self-reliance. No longer would a potential emergency be met with a simple call on the ship’s radio to the local Coast Guard or towboat. We were becoming increasingly isolated and as such were going to have to rely on our own wits. My hope was that this mounting sense of isolation would stay beyond the limits of the boat and not work its way inside. Time would tell. For the past two years, the talk had been to simply get to this area and then farther north.
I unexpectedly found my senses coming alive. My sense of smell was more acute, my hearing was finer, and my sight was more focused. It was a feeling, a new way of seeing life, that through the rest of the trip would reach far deeper than I could have imagined.
The Northwest Passage is a ship killer, and always has been.
At various stages of the journey, I found myself numb. Exhausted. Terrified.
How had it all started? What were we doing?
I was leading a crossing of the Northwest Passage, an 1,800-mile channel north of the Arctic Circle, connecting, in theory, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Hundreds of sailors had given their lives trying to do the exact same thing. We were a small boat with a small crew. Bagan is a fifty-seven foot long Nordhavn, and she was manned by six of us, three of whom were my children.
One thought and one thought only kept shouting in my mind, a thought that no expedition leader and, especially, no parent should ever have to think; a thought that held me in a cold, mental death grip, a thought that I still think about.
“Have I brought us all together just to lead us to our deaths?”

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 
A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.
What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir, adventure, family, climate
Rating – PG
More details about the author
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