Forty Foot Down

Well the Northern Lights
The Fire and Snow
When the Midnight Sun
Lies Down Below

And on a Cloudless Night
The Stars don’t Shine

Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
There ain’t no Stars around

In the Artic as young men the last stop was the Twin Otter base at Tuktoyaktuk when the hours of light in a day were zero. I was anxious to get in to see the real town, and Ronny Potts and I took the track to the General Store, run by locals, and we bought some stock. Hatchets, and a TUK-U hat. From there it was a weeks travel North and West by Nodwell to the most dangerous place on Earth.

We lost a Peace River Country skinner that year. A Father and two sons worked the Cats. He was hauling a trailer on a camp move and went down through the ice. I remember Dave the Terrible and I, and Sherwin, standing around the hole afterward. We talked about how he could have found the surface. The only light around came from the stars. Divers flew out from Tuk the next day and he was found in forty feet of water outside of the enclosed cab, on the sea floor, so you knew he didn’t never give up, and the Beaufort Seas claimed his soul.

They say that when there are storms the sea ice raises and lowers with the disturbed water. An effect of the motion can form what we called 'ridges.' They are difficult, or impossible, to identify by sight and the ice can be unstable in these areas.

After that, they gave me a three inch ice auger, a box of blades and an ice-thickness safety chart when we neared the end of the program near the MacKenzie Delta, to check ice on the tens of fresh water river channels we intended to cross as I was first eyes on the crew, and told me to check ice. Scout. I could hear the waters rushing below, see bubbles flowing in the swift, deadly current. Track. This was a fearful job.

We had an Inuit polar bear monitor traveling around on snowmobile with a rifle strapped on his back. He and I were the only two who worked alone on the crew and I know he kept an eye on me. He must have done a good job too with the bears for I didn’t see not a one.

Well the Northern Heights
The Pyre and Throe
When Alberta's Son
Reaps After Glow

And in the Tessellate Light
The Stars don’t Shine

Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
There ain’t no Stars around

Yeah the Northern Sights
The Spire and Floe
When the Midnight Sun
Lies Down Below

And in the Tessellate Light 
The Stars don’t Shine

Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
Forty Foot Down
There ain’t no Stars around

FOOT & CHAIN