Orceh's Blog - Tuktu's Arctic Expedition Day 1
Tuktu's Arctic Expedition Day 1
Jan 8th 2008 @ 4:16 am


Day 1 of Arctic Expedition, Anchorage
Ole’ Aurora is late from being repaired. That damn iceberg got the best of us. I know they’re bigger underneath but who would of thought that it was a good mile wider then it was deep. That had to be the biggest iceberg I’ve ever seen this far from the Arctic Circle. Normally they break apart by now. It must have been much bigger when it broke off. So my dear Aurora got a great big gash in her side. Luckily we were close enough to Anchorage, Alaska that I made it without taking on too much water. I don’t know what I would do if my Aurora sunk. I admit, at the time, I was more willing to save my darling then the passengers on board. But fortunately my selfishness wasn’t put to the test and we arrived at Anchorage safely. Aurora has been hauled up in the boatyard to begin her repairing. The workers at the docks told me to just get a new boat but Aurora’s been with me since I first started sailing around the oceans. She’s been to every sea and ocean in the world from the warm tropics to the freezing waters of the North and South. She’s been patched and repaired hundreds of times and has never failed me. There was no way I was giving up on her now.
Today was supposed to be the first day of my newest Arctic Expedition. A real one. Not just ferrying sightseers around. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the North Pole, the destination of this journey. Dr. Alan Burnings requested me to take him to the Arctic to find the reason for what the world calls ‘Global Warming’. I’ve heard of it, but I don’t believe it. The ice up here has been melting and reforming since the dawn of time. It will never truly disappear. And if it does, it’s what nature wants.
But either way, it’s an excuse to go up North and I’m fine with that. Coming along with us is the gorgeous Alisa Tyler, a world-famous meteorologist, and the equally gorgeous Michael Solask, a native to the North and our protection against the wildlife. But the biggest question is who is going to protect him from me?
And I’m getting away with myself again. Bad self, bad. Anyways, where were we? Oh yes. My Aurora. In case you haven’t figured it out, Aurora is my ship. Her formal name is SSR Aurora, but you just call her Aurora. She’s my baby. I’d put my life before hers. You think it’s silly? Aurora is to me like your silly little doggies are to you. The ugly ones with bulging eyes and fluffy bodies. My boat is worth way more than any dog, which is why I’m paying as much as it takes to get her seaworthy again.
She was supposed to be out of the boatyard at nine this morning, but they found a couple more dings and some mechanical problems so it’s been taking longer. I gave them an extra hundred to go faster as long as they do the job correctly. The Doctor’s been calling my room often to ask when we’ll be setting sail. I keep telling him when Aurora gets out of the yard but he must not be listening because he keeps calling. I swear. If he doesn’t stop calling, I’m gonna shoot him. Or myself. Which ever one comes first.
---
Finally! My dear, sweet Aurora is now out of the boatyard! I must say, she’s never looked better. They’ve even shined her all up and gave her a new coat of paint. No wonder it took forever. I’m grateful and all but I did have a schedule to meet. But as soon as I saw her in the harbor, looking beautiful and ready to go, I forgot about all that stuff and went to call the Doc to tell him we’re ready to go. While all the equipment and supplies was being loaded, Ms. Tyler and Michael Solask showed up. I’ve never seen an explorer so unprepared for the Arctic as Ms. Tyler. Sure she was wearing a parka and warm boots but they were all a matching off-white color with padded silk and fake fur. I tried to tell her but she said she knew what she was doing and told me to kindly mind my own business. So touchy, but so beautiful. Really drop-dead gorgeous with her long chocolate brown hair and bright green eyes. But unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t favor the good-looking. Except for maybe me and Solask over there. He was wearing what he’s supposed to be wearing; reindeer fur parka with wolverine lined hood, polar bear pants and reindeer skin boots. Solask is a native Alaskan and lives in the same town I live in whenever I happen to be around. He’s part-Inuit, part-Caucasian. A mutt, like me. He’s got a family and says he isn’t interested in men, but there isn’t anybody who can resist me. Well, maybe a few, but he’ll come around eventually. We’re a lot alike, me and him. We both like the wilderness and the cold more than the hot. I’ve even met him a couple times in the mountains. I joke that he’s stalking me but he doesn’t seem to like that. We get along okay, but I always have this feeling that he’s trying to avoid me. My smexiness must make him nervous. Even though he’s a Vulkit and I’m a Antorg, I think we can work out the difference. Too bad the north forces you to wear layered clothing otherwise I’d be able to wear something that shows off my body. Rawr.
I think I need to excuse myself and go take a cold shower. I’ll go find the Doc and tell him I’ll be right back.
---
It’s now three o’clock in the afternoon. A bit too late to be setting sail but it’s better than nothing. I’ll have to sail on through the night to catch up on wasted time. The harbor is disappearing rapidly as we speak and the steel-blue of ocean is wide before us. Annoying me must be the Doctor’s specialty because now he’s bugging me about how long it’ll take to get to the Arctic Circle. I told him that we’d be there by the morning of the third day if I sail through the night. That seems to have shut him up for now. But five minutes he’ll probably be back. I got my gun out ready.
---
Well, it’s nearing five. Cooky’s making dinner already as I can smell it. Smells like some kind of vegetable soup. My nose never lies. The Doc never did come back. I think my threats to shoot him on the spot scared him off.
My gosh, where’s my manners? I totally forgot about myself. Now there’s a first. My name is Tuktu O'Bryant. I have dark brown hair and multicolored eyes; I say multicolored because one is mint with chocolate tints and the other is chocolate with mint tints. Mother said it was my best feature. I have a finally-chiseled body from all the traveling, hiking and exploring I do. Plus I occasionally work out. In my animal form, I am half-caribou, half-dragon. I have a dark chocolate stripe from my muzzle down to my rump on both sides. The top half is mint while the bottom half of me is a light brown. I have two lines on either side of my face and two marks on my chest of dark brown. Despite what others think, I’m not edible. Well, I don’t taste like candy anyways. My antlers are a stunning twelve pointer and are a mix of caribou and elk. I have the large fan like ones in the front like a reindeer, and pointy tines the rest of the way like an elk.
My mother was Inuit, my father was Irish. He met her in Fairbanks on an expedition; he was an explorer like me. When my mother died when I was nine, we moved to the little town of Nuntak. That’s been my home forever. I grew up there. It’s a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere. There’s not a lot there but it’s surrounded by gorgeous wilderness. I’ve never been anywhere prettier, nor more deadly. The wilds of Alaska are not a place for the faint-hearted. There are wolves and foxes everywhere as well as elk, caribou and moose. The deadliest of all is the Alaskan Brown Bear, or Grizzly. There have even been a few polar bears in the winter, although I’ve only seen one or two in my life since I’ve been there. My first kill was a polar bear. I have its head above my fireplace; the only one in my town to have one. There’s the dinner bell. I’ll be back. I’ve got to get a seat next to Solask before someone else does. Luckily the seas are clear of ice tonight so I don’t need to worry. I set Aurora to auto-pilot. I can trust her.
Anyways, my lookout in the crow’s nest will spot something and alert me.
---
I knew it! It was vegetable soup; cabbage and lentil soup to be precise. Cooky had a side of sausage meat for the meat eaters of the crew to throw into their soup. And I got to sit next to Solask too, much to his apparent dismay. It’s probably just an act though. I know he likes me; he must. He’d better anyways. We’ve known each other for a long time. Even better, Ms. Tyler got the empty seat next to me before Doc did. I don’t think I could bear it if the old man started bombarding me with silly questions. So I had two good-looking people sitting next to me tonight. I figured I’d better get to know Ms. Tyler so I apologized for my ‘rudeness’ earlier. The thing is about women, even if you weren’t in the wrong, you’d better apologize anyways because them females know how to hold a grudge.
As it turns out, Alisa was born in Alaska but moved to New York when she was six months old. She’s been a city girl her whole life, which would explain her lack of knowledge on what to wear to the North, although I didn’t dare bring that up again. She’s lived in San Diego and Chicago and all those other major cities, but just recently moved back to her hometown of New York where she began studying the effects of Global Warming. I didn’t bother putting in my two cents because it might start at verbal fight. The one thing that annoyed me though was the way she talked to me, like I was simple and didn’t know anything. I wanted to say ‘Lady, I’ve been to more places then you’ve dreamed of. I know lots more things you probably know and just because I didn’t go to some fancy Ivy League collage doesn’t mean I don’t know anything.’ But again, I bit it all back.
Solask, who’s normally a quiet person, just ate his food and made no attempt to continue the conversation I was trying to strike up. It was just ‘yes’ and ‘no’ from him. Maybe he’s shy because deep down he really does like me.
So I continued my conversation, or really it was just Alisa talking and me listening, and found out how she knew the Doc. Apparently he’s her uncle or step-uncle or something. He brought her along because he needed a second opinion on anything he found out to make it more official. I wasn’t really listening actually. Just snippets of the conversation while I was sat there and stared at her, studying her carefully. She had to be maybe… twenty-something. Not a bad age. At least it wouldn’t make me a pervert if I had any fun with her or anything. What had originally looked to be straight, brown hair was actually a little wavy with some blonde highlights. It was obvious that she look good care of herself because it was nice and shiny, and bouncy whenever she turned her head. Her eyes were almond shaped and got a certain spark in them when she began talking to me about something about Global Warming. She must be passionate about that subject. Whenever it was mentioned, I just nodded to make like I was actually listening. It was only when I began staring somewhere else other than her face that she figured out my game and gave a snort of disgust, excusing herself from the table and left the room.
Slightly startled I had followed her out to her room below decks, apologizing profusely, but she just said good night in a vicious tone and slammed the door in my face. Nice going Tuktu.
So here I am back in my cabin, too embarrassed to go back to finish my dinner, watching the calm seas through the glass. I have taken Aurora off auto-pilot and resumed steering her through the waters, always on the look out for icebergs. I’ll try and talk to Ms. Tyler again tomorrow.

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