Arctic Scoout

RESTORATION LOG #41 - 22 December 2004

December has been a great month; here is an edited version of the crew report:
Aboard were: Jim Echoff CWO, USCG (Ret.) Bill Jones USCG (Ret.), Bob Nordhausen USN (Ret.), Werner Pels LT USN (Ret.), Don Pomplun, Butch Wallace USA Reserve, John Ward, USCG (Ret.), Dr. Frank Wright, USN (Ret.)

New generator is on line with the smaller as alternate, run one or the other but not both! The fuel tank of 150 gallons is filled. The exhaust is fitted to the outside. The hanger dick now requires "ear protection". We now have sufficient power to run all the ship systems simultaneously and handle inrush currents of large winches. All ships fans we had individually run previously were run simultaneously and more brought on line.

The crew isolated additional fresh water system leaks. Found some rain water still leaking into the chief's quarters and the towing winch room. Both these spaces are targeted for total removal so it is not an issue to us.

Day two we max loaded the generator and used only ¼ of the rating! It ran for 6 hours and burned approximately 12 gallons per hour.

The vacuum flush system was energized and urinals, head, and shower tested with discharge going to the holding tank. Everything works perfectly, just more appliances and runs to be checked out. We will need a big group of plumbers and spares to commission the total system, but major sections will be removed anyway in the overhaul.

We received a donation of floor vinyl floor tiles to repair some of our decking.

This is a very special month. One of our key financial support teams, Gayle Williamson & Dan Collins, will make their first visit to the ship on Monday with Joan Koether. Additionally, GE will send one rep to review the lighting systems and help us get the strategy set for the overhaul. We have also invited several key officers of financial institutions who are engaged in putting together our financing package. We are waiting to learn of their availability.

Okay! It’s time for you East Coasters, Mid West Flatlanders, and Alaskans to get with it and bear a hand! You have a full week with plenty of lead time to get cheap airline tickets! No more excuses the crew needs your help!

Ben Koether: January 10, 11,12,13,14
Joan Koether: January 10,11,12,13,14
Gayle Williamson: January 10
Dan Collins: January 10
Jim Echoff: January 11, 12
Greg Walker: January 10,11,12,13,14
Jack Erhard: January 10,11,12,13,14
Jim Foote: January 10,11,12,13,14
Jo Ann Foote: January 10,11,12,13,14
Don Pomplun: January 11,12
Ed Ciminello GE Lighting: definitely coming, day not certain yet

And don't forget . . . JANUARY 10 through 14: Jack Erhard and I will be aboard ship all week. Come join the party! IF YOU CAN NOT BE THERE IN PERSON, PLEASE DONATE.

RESTORATION LOG #40 - 07 December 2004

Ship Activity

  1. Good News! The 350KW Generator is installed in the hanger deck and ready to light off! See photos by Jim Echoff.

  2. The next work period is for two days DEC 14 and 15. We will connect the fuel line and power up the 350KW. Jim Echoff will advise on other tasks.

  3. January 10 to 14 will be a big full week so let's hustle and get out there from the East Coast and Mid West! We have scheduled this week to make it economical for those with a great distance to travel. As usual Jim Echoff will host the party at the close of each work day! There will be lots of additional clean up and detailed trouble shooting to bring on extended fresh water services, commissions the heads, and energize other auxiliary equipment.

  4. Financing for our venture creeps steadily towards completion. Lots of hands hard at work believe me! This daunting process will see big movement in January.

  5. IcebucketThe old Arctic Survey Boat is now under complete restoration at Brewers Yacht Yard in Westbrook, CT. Thanks to the leadership of Dometic Corporation and Rhodes Communications a number of equipment vendors are supplying the parts. The boat should be ready to sail to all the East Coast Boat Shows next year manned by Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts committed to earn their USCG Operators License. We have a special need for funds for this project and we will need licensed skippers and youth leaders. Now is the time to throw in your name. Remember, you must have a Boat Operators License and be ready to travel with 4 or 5 youth for a minimum two week period. If you can go for a month so much the better!

  6. Do not forget . . . JANUARY 10 to 14 Jack Erhard and I will be aboard ship all week. Come join the party! IF YOU CAN NOT BE THERE IN PERSON, PLEASE DONATE.

RESTORATION LOG #39 - 03 October 2004

Ship Activity

We thought you all should share in our "Volunteers Bulletin" to gather the flavor of what is happening aboard ship in near "real time". Here is what our men were about on board Glacier recently.

Jim Echoff, Don Pomplun, Butch Wallace, John Ward, Bill Jones, and Bob Nordhausen spent several days recommissioning the fresh water system and the fire mains. Sounds simple? Well that is in concept only. First they were working with only a small generator and they kept creating a brown-out, or tripping the main breaker because there was too much load. Well in the end they by-passed open valves, cracked pipe due to freezing. At one time 8 shower heads were blasting away! To prove out the fire mains we charged them with air rather than water. These pipes are too big to find a major leak with water! They were successful and it appears the total fire system is intact except where it was breached by the decommissioning and equipment removal. All fire hose stations were checked and water and air moved perfectly.

Clearly we need a team of plumbers and lots of spare parts in order to be able to establish habitability.

A brief inspection of the sewage system reveals it appears to be in working order. When the big generator is installed we will have enough power to light off this are and fully test it and pump out the holding tanks when we get to the pier, there seems to be some fluid remaining aboard.

Next our team will be energizing the fuel separators and reaching down to use the diesel fuel on board ship.

Ashore and in Washington, DC Steve Johnson and I continue to work with our architects, financial resources, insurance, and maritime legal staff to prepare Glacier for shipyard.

Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) announced her support for The Glacier Society's efforts to restore and redeploy the historic icebreaker USS/USCGC Glacier as a health care delivery ship to serve Native Alaskans in the state's most remote areas. Click here for the full story.


RESTORATION LOG #38 - 16 September 2004

Ship Activity

  1. You may have wondered what happened to us this summer. We have been silent since mid June, but not resting! Getting two ruptured discs in my neck repaired maybe, but not resting! In any event, recuperation is far along and the doctor tells me he has added half an inch to my unexpected benefit to solving a problem that had become a real pain in the neck.

    So now that we are back in the saddle, here is our current status!

  2. Work continues aboard ship preparing to move to San Francisco?s Pier 80. Anna Falche says progress is being made but we still do not have a fixed date pending her negotiations with the City of San Francisco. Meanwhile Peterson Power Systems is completing the conversion of our 350 KW CAT generator from water cooled to air cooled, and it will be returned to the ship soon. We will then have reliable power far in excess of the USCG requirements.

  3. The shipboard crew is focusing on the usual items plus beginning major work on the main propulsion motors and the steering gear. We have a sample from the ships fresh water tanks and that report will be available soon to advise us if we can drink the water aboard ship as well as use it for washing. We are focusing on bring the after berthing spaces on line for use alongside the Pier 80.

  4. Our political activity in Alaska and Washington has continued non-stop virtually since February. Steve and I have been back to Alaska at the end of June and are in the Capital nearly weekly. Congress is showing increasing levels of support, which is so necessary to lead our effort in assembling the money and manpower needed to complete our project. A few of our key Congressional backers are: Senator Lieberman, Senator Murkowski, Senator Stevens, and Speaker Hastert as well as Congressmen Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons. Alaskans include Governor Murkowski, former Governor Sheffield and the Mayor of Anchorage Mark Begich.

  5. We completed our Ship Design Specifications and sent them to numerous marine architects and shipyards. We included a CD with the General Ship Plans converted to AutoCAD. AutoCAD has been very supportive donating three sets of software for our volunteers. We have two sets in Stratford and one at our Ft. Lauderdale office. Volunteers are needed at both locations.

  6. This week we began design reviews with the architects. Two more are scheduled for next week and we expect at least three more firms to make proposals. We are soliciting written proposals for presentation to our Board and to our Funding Team. It will begin with a ROM (rough order of magnitude) budget, and continue through working drawings, shipyard supervision, and sea trails and acceptance. The first package will be offered to us before the end of September, with the others following in October. We will narrow the vendors list down to two for detailed discussions with our management team before the final selection and financing package is completed.

Thank you for your continued support! Please consider making a contribution today! We are in the home stretch and could use your support today!!

RESTORATION LOG #37 - 16 June 2004

Ship Activity

Jim Echoff and Ray Bunten continue to lead the work parties aboard ship which included me, Christian Koether, Timothy Ho, Bob Nordhausen, Werner Pels, George Wallace, Don Pomplun, Frank Wright, John Ward and Julie Tallino of the Benicia Herald during the recent months. July will be the next work period, check the web site for details.

We moved the rewound transformers to a position just above B3 in preparation for their installation and mounted a floodlight on the forward 01 level to light the deck for handling lines at night. We obtained a sample from the JP5 tank for analysis. There are about 350 gallons in the tank. Christian vacuumed the main motor compartments. The filter screens will have to be cleaned with solvent or steam as the dirt and carbon dust contain oil residue. The loose flaking paint is not on the motor windings. It seems to have come from moisture on the underside of the main motor shaft and is limited to a small area. The motor is in good condition, we are slowly warming it with the compartment heater.

The starboard amidships davit remains frozen, no luck freeing it! Cleaned stores compartment on first platform forward of the mess decks. Cleaned, painted and prepared for installation a 4 1/2 in. vise in the electric shop. Continued repairs to lighting fixtures. Lights are now on in all passageways and portable lighting cords have been removed. Inspected the anti roll tank, heavy petroleum odors ventilated before entering. Found heavy corrosion on all surfaces. It appears the tank was operated with salt water rather than the recommended fresh water plus rust inhibitor. Weather deck manhole cover reinstalled and tank is secure.

Next major project will be to bring the 350Kw Gen Set on line in preparation for moving to the pier.

Click here for photos from the Glacier April work week .

European Tour Report!

We completed a tour of the ship African Mercy, which is under renovation in New Castle England. Click here for photos. This ship was originally a Danish Railroad/passenger Ferry. It is well on its way to becoming the third operating vessel of Mercy Ships International. Go to and look down for the link to African Mercy. We were impressed with the conversion accomplishments and encouraged since they parallel many of the ones we plan to make aboard Glacier. We came away convinced we are on the right track with an excellent mission. Thank you, Jim Paterson, VP Marine Operations and crew for the hospitality.

We then traveled to Bremerhaven, Germany to visit the Icebreaker Polarstern. Visit to see more details about this research program. Our purpose was to see the equipment installations and review the ship operating methods in a pure education/research environment. We met many key members of the crew as well as representatives of the German Education Department and Alfred Wegner Institute. Our ship board attention was focused on the A Frame, the wire handling techniques, the bridge installations, and crew and laboratory facilities. Click here for photos. Rochem GmbH, a ship vendor, sent Dr. Gunnar Hansen to show us the advanced waste treatment facilities aboard ship. Subsequently we traveled to Hamburg to tour the factory and inspect new systems being prepared for shipment.

The tour of the Polarstern and Africa Mercy strengthen our conviction that the medical, science, and education mission for the Arctic is not only correct but very timely and in great need.

We proceeded to Washington, DC where we held meetings with our Maritime Council Stuart Dye Esq. of Holland & Knight. Stuart is handling our mortgaging and licensing of the ship.

We had a significant private meeting with Senator Lieberman where we presented him with a plaque in recognition of his efforts on our behalf and reviewed the status of the Glacier Society and the ship. The Senator remains steadfast in his support for deploying the Glacier for Medical Care in the Arctic.

Our last meeting of our month long tour was with Dr. Muller and Dr. Markus Klimmer of the McKinsey & Co. who are assisting us with our business plans. We have completed an Executive Summary Business Plan with extensive documentation submitted by dozens of vendors detailing the equipment changes to the ship. We continue to work with our supporters to complete financing arrangements and move the ship to the pier. We are convinced that we will have substantial funding in place by January 2005.

Thank you for your continued support! Please consider making a contribution today! We are in the home stretch and could use your support today!!

RESTORATION LOG #36 - 21 May 2004

Clarification! The Glacier Society will remain headquartered here in Connecticut. The two boats, the MV GLACIER and the ICEBUCKET will remain CT based property, but both vessels will be underway as much as possible to complete our Humanitarian Mission. Progress continues, here is an update.

  • The conversion of the Ship's General Plans to AutoCAD has been accomplished and those vendors who need prints can obtain them electronically or in printed document form. We have a wire frame and 3D model and are working in "Inventor" to speed the redesign effort. The drawings of ICEBUCKET are being converted as well.

  • We have completed two work periods on the ship to maintain the momentum on preparing the ship for movement to the pier. San Francisco has finally appointed a new Port Director and our San Francisco Team is continuing in their efforts to bring us to Pier 80.

  • Dr. Bruce Becker, MD of Brown University Emergency Medicine has crafted our "business" plan for the medical operations aboard Glacier. This document has been circulated for peer review at Yale University and the University of Alaska as well as the Institute of Circumpolar Health. Suffice to say that we have a good mission, a good plan and are well on the way to creating a detailed design and specification for the conversion of the ship. Enthusiasm in Alaska and other circumpolar nations is growing and bringing us increased support for our mission.

  • The National Science Foundation and the US Antarctic Resource Center have located an original film narrated by Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy detailing the Bellingshausen Sea Expedition. This will be converted to a digital format and added to the growing collection for our museum here in CT and aboard ship.

  • Next week we are off to the United Kingdom to tour the new ship "African Mercy" which is under construction in New Castle. This ship conversion is a model for us to study for our "hospital" conversion. We travel next to Bremerhaven to observe the Icebreaker Polarstern entering dry dock for her annual inspection. This will allow us to review our intended conversions for the scientific package. We will be meeting with a number of potential vendors in Bremerhaven.

  • Steve Johnson and I will then travel to Alaska for a series of meetings with our constituents ands supporters in Alaska.

  • HELP! We need a volunteer designer who can help us with our AutoCAD design work. We would like someone who can visit the HQ here in CT or our branch office in Ft. Lauderdale for face to face discussions. However, with the internet and video conferencing we can do virtual office work as well. This is an immediate need.

  • As always, we need donations so please donate if you can.

RESTORATION LOG #35 - 5 March 2004

  • Time to look back, reflect, and assess our position. It is six years since the day the retired Glacier crew called and said, we’ve got to “SAVE THE GLACIER”. At the first telephone meeting in the fall of 1996, there were three men and a vision shared. Real progress began in January 1997 when we confirmed plans to inspect the ship on June 16, 17 and 18, 1997. The commitment to the crew was, “If the inspection shows her capable, we’ll launch the effort to save the ship.” I returned home and said to my wife, “The ship is in fine shape. It’s a slam – dunk!”

    The next three years were consumed with the legislative effort of gaining title to the ship and finding its drawings and engineering files. We then shifted into full speed with restoration, building a member database, setting up a legal 501c3 foundation, raising funds, and unraveling lots of legal and marine engineering issues. You all know the incredible progress we’ve made aboard ship. It is documented on the web site.

  • Today we have about 7,500 persons in the database. It takes considerable effort to keep track of those folks who are moving about all the time. We need to recruit more members and increase the level of cash contributions. We have moved past the time of volunteers being able to keep this ship restoration program alive. We are entering in to the phase where professional engineering firms and shipyards are going to lead the restoration design and rebuilding. That is now our number one focus. We are making considerable headway. Glacier is about to come alive and move to Anchorage, Alaska for her new homeport. When you think about it, this is where she belongs, close to the ice and those who need her capabilities. Oh, what about Connecticut, the State whose Congressional delegation wrenched Glacier from the scrap yard? Well, over a hundred years ago, our Mystic whalers sent their ships and men to Alaska, where many remained and married into the local population. So returning Glacier is a perfect way to rebuild that bond of friendship. And Glacier is named after Glacier Bay, Alaska. Upon our departure from Anchorage just two weeks ago, we made the commitment they asked for. Alaska here we come!

  • We are concluding arrangements to begin redrawing Glacier in AutoCAD. This is the first step to completing the redesign and preparing the shipyard bid package.

  • Here is our Alaska Trip report. Pictures of the Alaska trip are now on the web.

    One does not normally plan to visit Alaska in the dead of winter but we had been advised on good authority that there is no better way to establish one’s bona fides so Steve and I departed February 15th for the nation’s biggest state.

    Landing in Anchorage is a visual experience unequalled anywhere in the lower 48…extraordinary snow covered terrain on one side, the Cook Inlet on the other. Anchorage was “bracing” but not quite as cold as one would expect. It was a perfect setting in which to visit a significant number of Alaska’s leading citizens: representatives from Exxon\Mobil, BP and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Admiral Byrd’s dogsled driver Norman Vaughan, the crew at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute for Circumpolar Studies, the University’s President Mark Hamilton, former Governor Walter Hickel’s office as well as former Governor Bill Sheffield, now director of the Port of Anchorage.

    After 48 hours crisscrossing the city for appointments, we were joined by Dr. Gary Brass, Executive Director of the US Arctic Research Commission, and departed north to Barrow, northern most town in the USA.

    Barrow “enjoys” over 60 days of darkness and over 80 days of continuous sunlight per year. Our arrival on the Alaska Airlines flight at 9:30 a.m. was in the faintest of dawn light (as well as –17 degrees) but by 11 a.m. the sun had come up and it was a glorious bright day. Barrow visits included the town’s hospital, the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak.

    Enthusiasm in Alaska was high for the prospect of porting the ship at Anchorage and being a means of focusing attention on the state and on the importance of the Arctic. These Alaskan leaders are now helping us get the attention and, eventually, the support of the Alaska Delegation and of Congress as a whole.

  • As always, we need donations so please donate if you can.

RESTORATION LOG #34 - 8 February 2004

  • Senior team members will be in Anchorage and Barrow, Alaska the week of February 16 meeting with state leaders and representatives of the Alaskan Native American community to develop support for Glacier's medical, global climate change and educational missions.

  • The preparations for movement to the pier continue although somewhat slower than we had hoped. However, the most important task at hand now is to line up major funding for the project. Your Finance Team is hard at work traveling from the United Kingdom to Washington, DC to Alaska. Our high level support is growing. You will see that when the Operations report for last year is published.

  • The Navy's David Taylor Model Basin has located the records pertaining to the design of the hull and propellers. This will be used to interpret our new mission and improve our screw design and power plant to hopefully yield lower running costs. Captain Hatch is leading this effort.

  • We presented a recognition award to Captain William G. Schubert, the Maritime administrator at his office in January. Visit:

  • After many delays Glacier Society now is running its own dedicated physical secure server, not a rented or shared facility. Our membership database is therefore now available to a committed remote staff via a VPN. We will attempt to add additional services, such as our project management and volunteer work schedules and VOIP telephone services for remote workers.

  • Glacier Society is establishing an office in FT. Lauderdale, FL for the specific purpose of broadening our membership and more importantly focusing upon the center of our cruise ship industry. The Port of Ft. Lauderdale is the largest passenger port for the USA, processing 50,000 visitors over the Christmas/New Year Holiday weekend. The industry leadership is here in South Florida. We are seeking participation and support from within the Industry to help us operate Glacier efficiently.

  • A special thank you to Mike Devine for his ongoing work and dedication to the Glacier Society's PowerPoint presentations!

  • As always, we need donations so please donate if you can.

RESTORATION LOG #33 - 7 January 2004

  1. The new Mayor has just taken his office in San Francisco this week. In order to accommodate the smooth transition to a new Port Commissioner, who will not be appointed until later this month, we have decided to shift our planned move date into March.

  2. This will allow us to assimilate the new personnel into the process and still leave time for our crew to purchase tickets for travel in advance. As soon as we have the new players lined up and a date agreed upon with our tugs and pilots we will give you the dates.





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