U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Web Site

Public Affairs

This is the Yukon River Coastie trip. Auxiliarists bring Coastie to villages along the River in jet boats to deliver the safe boating message to the children of the Yukon.

Below you will find the blog that was created by Allie Ferko, LTJG at Sector Anchorage and an Auxiliarist with the Eagle River Flotilla who was one of the members of the Crew on the trip. The blog can be found at http://uscgalaska.blogspot.com/search/label/Yukon%20Coastie

Start at the bottom and read toward the top.

 

Showing newest posts with label Yukon Coastie. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label Yukon Coastie. Show older postsk

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mission Complete (Monday June 14th) - Made it to the Bridge!

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Our mission is now complete - we made it back to the bridge!

What a fantastic trip full of adventure, laughs, challenges, mosquitos, beautiful scenery, amazing people, and lots of learning for all involved. Overall the trip was a HUGE success, reaching eight villages, 252 kids, more than 70 adults, and covering 860 miles of the Yukon River.

We sign off today with appreciation and respect for the people living and working on the Yukon River. Thank you to all the amazing folks and new friends we met in Stevens Village, Tanana, Galena, Nulatto, Kaltag, Koyukuk, Ruby, and Rampart - fair weather and great fishing!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:15 AM 1 comments data yc80
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Last Campsite of the Trip

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:01 AM 0 comments data yc79
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Last Village of the Trip - Rampart (Sunday June 13th)

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Our last village of the trip, Rampart met us with a great surprise. Because fishing season had not begun and most of the village was out of town working a spill at Pump Station 9, we only expected a few children to participate in Coastie's visit. However, we were excited to find that 12 children were, in fact, in the village on Sunday!

Thanks to Elaine Evans, the Tribal Administrator, for making it back from the working the spill to be there for our visit.

Special thanks to Henry Wheel (pictured), one of the last descendants of the original settlers of Rampart for accepting the Yukon Coastie certificate on behalf of Elaine, when she had to return to the spill site prior to our presentation being complete.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 4:42 AM 0 comments data yc78
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Fishing Season is Upon Us!!

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 4:31 AM 0 comments data yc77
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More Life on the Yukon

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 4:21 AM 0 comments data yc76
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Life Underway

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 4:02 AM 0 comments data yc75
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Ruby (Saturday June 12th)

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Welcome to Ruby! Our boats were met at the river bank by a large group of adults and children waiting for Coastie's arrival.

Among those in the reception party, was Emmitt Peters (pictured), also known as the "Yukon Fox", champion of the 1975 Iditarod and one of the mushers who helped shape the race into what it is today. In 1975, he cut six days from the prior race time, turned the Iditarod into a high speed race, and set a record that stood for the next five years. Emmitt has run the 1,100 mile Iditarod race 13 times, consistently finishing in the top 10, and was the last rookie to win the race. In the year 2000, at the age of 59, Emmitt returned to the Iditarod after a 10 year absence.

Joe Wright then kindly drove Coastie, Dean, Nanci, and Allie up to the hall and returned to the river bank to help Chuck, Ray, and Tom fuel the boats and get water.

The children bubbled over with excitement to meet Coastie. You could feel the energy in the room, as they gave Coastie hugs and learned about river safety. Ruby was one of our biggest crowds yet!

Thanks to Joe Wright, Agnes Bergman, and Pat Statesir (Tribal Administrator, pictured being presented certificate) for their assistance and support while the team visited Ruby.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 3:39 AM 0 comments data yc74
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Kids Don't Float

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Very excited to see state sponsored "Kids Don't Float" stations set up in every village we visited. The program allows children, who may not otherwise have a life jacket, to borrow one from the board.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 3:34 AM 0 comments data yc73
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Koyukuk (Friday 11 June)

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As we left Kaltag, the clouds in the sky darkened and the rain began. Luckily, by the time we arrived in camp, it cleared long enough for us to eat our meal of pulled pork, rice, and corn on the cob around the campfire. When the rain began again, everyone decided it was about time to hit the hay and get a good nights rest.

Waking to a damp drizzle in the morning, we donned our rain gear, broke down camp, and hit the road. Headed back upriver, we stopped by Nulatto where Paul from the Tribal Council and Larry, the old village VPSO, was gracious enough to lend their trucks to help us refuel the boats.

On the river again, the rain parted enough for us to get a glimpse of the sun as we arrived in Koyukuk to Cynthia Pilot, Tribal Administrator, and a group of children waiting for us on the bank of the river. Cynthia was kind enough to bring us the city's truck to transport Coastie up to the Hall where the boys and girls learned lots about wearing life jackets, hypothermia, and ice safety on the river. You could hear the kids all over the village tooting their Coastie whistles!

After our presentation, Cynthia Pilot allowed us to use the Internet in the Tribal Office. Thanks Cynthia!

Barbara Fleming, the Koyukuk city manager, graciously supplied our group with showers and laundry facilities, drove us back and forth from the boats to the facilities, and even took us by the store! Thanks Barbara!

Headed upriver....Next stop, Ruby!!
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 8:37 PM 0 comments data yc72
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Kaltag (Thursday, June 10)

What a wonderfully smart group of children in Kaltag! We learned alot today about boating safety in not only the river, but the lake up the way as well. All of the children that came to visit Coastie own their own life jackets and wear them every time they swim and boat. Coastie was very excited to hear this news. The children enjoyed playing tag with Coastie, learned about cold water survival, and even taught him a thing or two about what they had learned about CPR! A special thank you to Anne Esmailka for allowing us to use a truck and internet in the tribal council office. We appreciate you Anne!
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 9:37 AM 0 comments data yc71
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Camp

A few miles down the river from Nulato, we noticed a pretty severe storm starting to appear in the sky. After the first clap of thunder and flash of lighting, we pulled over to make camp in the rain.
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 9:31 AM 0 comments data yc70
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Nulato (Wednesday, June 9)

After a morning delay for engine trouble, we arrived in Nulato to a huge welcome. Children from the village waited on the banks of the river waving, excited to see us arrive. Almost 30 children and 15 adults followed us to the school gymnasium where Coastie spoke about water safety. Ed, one of the village elders well into his 90's, came to watch the presentation and was honored by Coastie (pictured). Special thanks to Mickey (Nulato Chief, pictured) and Robyn (Tribal Administrator) for their help and support with transportation, rubbish pickup, and some great tips for great fishing spots!
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 9:29 AM 0 comments data yc69
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Underway

Flexibility, perserverance, teamwork, positive attitudes, and the ability to be MacGyver - the traits we have learned while underway on the Yukon River.

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Ray during one of our lunch stops

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Ray and Tom fixing the bilge system on one of the boats. 

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Tom Kane 

Mosquito coils, also known as Yukon River air freshner

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Our best MacGyver yet: Rear View Mirror consisting of an extra signal mirror, empty pringle can, and duct tape.

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    Nanci and Dean Terencio
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 9:20 AM 0 comments data yc68
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Galena (Tuesday, June 8)

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After a quick stop in Ruby to fuel (thanks Ivan!), we made it to Tanana. Charley Green and friends arrived with a truck to pick us up and head to the community center. During the busy summer season in Galena when the weather is nice and bugs are down, most children were taking advantage of open swim at the pool. Several families took advantage of the opportunity to meet Coastie and learn about boating safety. Special thank you to March Runner, Tribal Administrator, for her help in arranging transportation, showers and a fuel pump. After refueling the boats, we headed down river.
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Posted by 17th Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 9:14 AM 0 comments data yc145
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

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In Tanana, we had heard mention of Kokrine Bible Camp on the North side of the river between Tanana and Galena. We decided to stop and visit to see where the children in the region go to summer camp. Although our travels took us past the camp late in the evening, the staff welcomed us with open arms - providing a wonderful dinner of grilled cheese and soup, hot showers, a cabin with bunkbeds to sleep in, and a homecooked breakfast in the morning. A special thank you to Carol Huntington, the camp director, for her hospitality!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:37 PM 0 comments data yc144
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On the River again!

After a fantastic visit in Tanana, we headed down river to find a place to camp before heading to Galena in the morning. Lots of tracks on the river banks - bear, moose, wolf, fox, and lots of birds.
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Availability of internet is limited and we are too far North to use the satelite for the laptop, so please be patient with our posting schedule. Because of time, we will only be able to load a picture or two at a time.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:32 PM 0 comments data yc143
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Tanana (Monday June 7th)

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Waking up Monday morning, the team felt a surge of positive energy and morale. Well rested and recharged, we headed South for a beautiful six hour drive to Tanana.


We arrived to the community waiting for us on the bank of the river and immediately felt welcomed! The village had a truck waiting for us to transport Coastie and offered showers, internet, and a truck for our use while we were in town. We would like to express our gratitude and thanks for all you did to assist us!


Once Coastie was unloaded, the adults in the village motored around town on quads, rounding up all the children to come meet Coastie. An Upward Bound group, in town for awhile, also joined us for the Coastie presentation. Over 50 children of all ages laughed and learned as Coastie taught us how to be safe on the water. He even taught us how to be safe on the ice when the river freezes and we travel on snowmachines instead of in boats!
We were honored by an invitation to dinner before hitting the river again. This time towards Galena. Home town of Jo-Ann Grimaldi!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 7:43 PM 0 comments data yc142
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Down River!

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After a burger cookout and some ice cream, we finalized the gear we were taking down river and refueled the boats. Once we were set to go, the Robinson family, the Grimaldis, and Marie headed back to Fairbanks. Special thanks to all of them for knowledge, support, encouragement, meals, and kindness to us during the planning phase of this trip. Because of them, we feel prepared to get on the river!

The group is now down to the six members of the team - Ray, Chuck, Tom, Dean, Nanci, and Allie. We decided to put some miles behind us, head down river, and find a place to camp.

In the morning, six hours on the river and we had made it to Tanana!!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 7:31 PM 0 comments data yc141
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Back to the Bridge

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After a FANTASTIC visit at Stevens Village, we headed back to the bridge to cook dinner and get underway towards Tanana.




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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 7:24 PM 0 comments data yc140
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First Yukon Village Visit - Stevens Village

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Coastie (and the group) took a tour of Stevens Village and made it to the community center to speak with the village's children about boating safety.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 6:49 PM 0 comments data yc139
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Landed in Steven's Village

After a great ride from the bridge to Stevens Village, the ANG picked up Admiral Colvin and departed via helicopter. The team, along with Jo-Ann and Marie and a bunch of the town's children, unloaded Coastie.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 6:35 PM 0 comments data yc138
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Yukon Bridge (Sunday June 7th)

After a great breakfast of french toast and sausage, we packed up our camping gear and headed to the boat launch for fuel and final underway preparations. Marie saved the day by bringing us a pre-cut piece of plexiglass to repair the broken boat windshield!
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The Air National Guard flew Admiral Colvin (USCG District 17 Commander - Commander of all Coast Guard forces in Alaska) in to the helicopter landing site next to the river. Amazingly, they heard about our broken windshield as well (thanks to LTJG Kelly Hansen), and brought us a large piece of plexiglass to help with repairs! Thanks for the support.

Admiral was able to begin the Yukon trip with us, riding to Stevens Village, where the ANG picked him up and flew back to Anchorage.
Here's how the morning went...
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Launched the boats...





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Ray Miller, Nick Grimaldi, Admiral Colvin





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Admiral set the "Coastie" flag and declared the trip officially begun once all three boats had made it to the water.




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Packed the boats...






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Admiral Colvin assisted by tending lines!






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Loaded Coastie...





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Underway at last!!





Stevens Village or bust!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:52 PM 0 comments data yc137
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Made it to the Yukon

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After over 12 hours on the road, we finally made it to the bridge....at almost 1:00 in the morning....
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:49 PM 0 comments data yc136
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Two more casualties before we get to the bridge!!

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Blown tire on one of the boat trailers.









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Busted window on Rusty's boat from road rocks.
If you are traveling the Dalton Highway please be careful and bring spare parts!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:41 PM 0 comments data yc135
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Adventures on the Haul Road

On Saturday, we left Fairbanks and headed North. The group stopped at Hilltop trucker's stop for a quick brunch. Yummy heaping portions of homecooked food and pies to die for (and also the last full service resturant on the haul road before the Yukon).

After saying goodbye to family and friends at Hilltop, the group (now down to the Yukon team members and the Robinson family RV as a support vehicle) started the three hour drive on the gravel haul road.

Then.....the casualties....

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First, Ray's truck died on the side of the road due to fuel system problems.







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Dean was able to tow him out of the road and out of the way of fast paced truckers.




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Luckily we had a SAT phone (no cell reception) and were able to call a tow truck. While we waited the four hours it would take them to get there, we decided to eat dinner, visit in the RV, and Dean even took a nap!




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Delayed at the way station, the original tow truck company called their buddies, "Dirty Deeds Towing Company" to come tow Ray's truck back to Fairbanks. Priceless.
And then, we hit to road again!
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 5:16 PM 0 comments data yc134
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Leaving Fairbanks!!

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June 6, 2010

Trucks and boats are packed. The group in Fairbanks before heading North up the Dalton Highway to the bridge.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 4:33 PM 0 comments data yc133
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here's the Plan

Subject to weather and river conditions, here is our tentative plan for village visits:

Sunday 06 June: Stevens Village

Monday 07 June: Tanana

Tuesday 08 June: Galena

Wednesday 09 June: Nulato

Thursday 10 June: Kaltag

Friday 11 June: Koyukuk

Saturday 12 June: Ruby

Sunday 13 June: Rampart
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 11:31 AM 0 comments data yc132
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Track our progress online through Spot Messenger!!

yc115The Operation Yukon Coastie 2010 Spot Messenger public page has been established.

Just follow this link to track our progress:
https://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=1PLTOB0mBerrEgQ365ttik8uROQXOiOLa

The password is: YukonCoastie2010

If the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it to your browser's address bar.

If a dialouge box appears stating "Do you want to view only webpage content that was delivered securely?", click "no".

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 11:20 AM 0 comments data yc131
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Last Meeting Before Heading Out

yc164Ray and Carol Miller hosted an amazing dinner meeting for the Fairbanks Flotilla and Yukon team members at their house in Fairbanks on Friday. We gathered to discuss last minute logistical arrangements and receive protocol training from Jo-Ann. Current Commodore Marie Scholle and past Commodore/Arctic Outreach Chairperson Michael Robinson honored the group with their presence and words of encouragement.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 11:07 AM 0 comments data yc204
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Our Coastie Operators

The Terencios have been involved with the USCG Auxiliary for 19 years and are members of the Anchorage Flotilla. Dean is an Alaska native, born and raised in Juneau and is a qualified Auxiliary coxswain. Nanci came to Alaska when she was knee high to a totem pole in 1959 when Alaska became a state, and is a qualified Auxiliary boat crew member. One of their shared passions is promoting boater safety through public educationyc163 . Their village outreach began in the mid 90's with a program called BERT (boating education response team), which was a partnership between the Auxiliary and villages requesting boating and water safety programs. Their combined efforts span the length and breath of Alaska from Eagle to St. Paul and Barrow to Ketchikan. The Yukon Coastie mission is the 15th village outreach project that they have particpated in. Dean and Nanci hold the distinction of teaching the farthest North boating public education course when they visited Barrow in 2008. Their philosophy is "If our message saves one life, we will have fulfilled our purpose". Of special note, Dean enjoys the tradition of sticking his foot in each body of water he visits.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 10:50 AM 0 comments data yc203
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Our Fairbanks River Boat Coxswains

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Ray Miller







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Chuck Gewin




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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 10:41 AM 0 comments data yc202
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Local Knowledge Instrumental to Sucess

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Jo-Ann Grimaldi, a member of the Fairbanks Flotilla and an Athabascan Indian born in Galena, has been instrumental in gathering information and making vital contacts with each village involved in the Yukon Coastie project. Ensuring we would have a smooth voyage, Jo-Ann spent countless hours informing each of the villages about the details of our visit and providing the team with crucial local knowledge. On Friday night, Jo-Ann led a discussion concerning protocol for visitors on the Yukon.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 10:28 AM 0 comments data yc201
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Trial by Fire

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It's just days before the trip on the Yukon and one of the original Coxswain on the trip has to drop out due to a death in the family. This puts the trip in jeopardy as three boats were the minimum number for the journey so a driver had to be found fast or scrub the trip. I was asked to be the replacement Coxswain and drive the boat down the river. I got my trial by fire at the Big Lake packout. The following week we all met in Fairbanks to prepare for the trip and go through the boat for mechanical prolems. We fixed a throttle problem and then gave the boat the thumbs up. We will be leaving Fairbanks tomorrow morning headed for the pipeline crossing on the Yukon River and then push off and head to our first destination of Stevens Village.






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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 9:33 PM 0 comments data yc200
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Big Lake Pack Out Pictures

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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 7:17 AM data yc199
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Big Lake

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In final preparation for the trip, Auxiliary and active duty team members gathered at Big Lake over Memorial Day weekend to do a mock pack out of the three jet boats headed to the Yukon. Coastie and all team gear were loaded onto the boats and basic stability testing was conducted. Auxiliary Division Three hosted an amazing BBQ, featuring halibut and ribs after the event.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 7:13 AM data yc198
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Yukon Coastie Team Members complete First Aid & CPR Training Spring 2010 in Anchorage. Pictured: LTJG Allie Ferko, AUX Tom Kane, AUX Nanci Terencio, AUX Dean Terencio
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 6:46 AM data yc197
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Operation Yukon Coastie 2010

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The Alaskan Coast Guard Auxiliary, with the support of D17 and Sector Anchorage, has made substantial strides in developing rural community outreach programs focused on boating safety.

On December 9, 2008, while participating in a static display for the Alaska Tribal and Military Leaders meeting at Elmendorf Air Force Base, the Auxiliary demonstrated the use of "Coastie - The Safety Boat". Coastie is a remote controlled robot boat used by the Auxiliary for youth education and boating safety programs.

Following the demonstration, several community leaders inquired if the Auxiliary could bring Coastie to villages along the Yukon River. Operation Yukon Coastie team members and the D17 Auxiliary Commodore again met with tribal leaders during the 2010annual Tanana Chiefs' Conference in Fairbanks to review goals for Coastie's Yukon River visit.

Yukon villages rely heavily on the river for transportation, using outboard powered boats to travel to fish camps, hunt, fish, gather firewood, and a host of other activities most would do by automobile.

On June 6, 2010, five Auxiliarists and one active duty representative from Sector Anchorage will embark on a ten day, 920 mile boating safety outreach mission named "Operation Yukon Coastie", visiting eight villages Yukon River.

Operation Yukon Coastie is the first of its kind for both the USCG and the Auxiliary. It is an ambitous, logistically challenging initiative designed to share boater safety information within rural Alaska and encourage cooperation and understanding between all involved.
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Posted by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage at 2:34 PM data yc196
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