Friday, January 13, 2012

There's no place like Nome

After all the drama, the Russian tanker Renda is reported to be a mere six miles from Nome. Coast Guard official Adam De Rocher says the ship reached the area early Friday but was waiting until daylight before advancing further. Daylight doesn't come to that part of Alaska until 11:30 a.m. local time.

De Rocher says crews are waiting for light because it will be safer going through the ice and they will have a better idea of where to anchor to start unloading fuel. The Renda does not need to enter the port to unload, being equipped with a mile-length hose so that it can stand-off an ice-choked harbour to make deliveries.

Whether the tanker intends then to make an immediate return journey, or lay up for the remainder of the ice season has not been disclosed. Not a great deal of sense could be gained from the crew, other than a cheery rendition of "Nome sweet Nome".