Dispatches From the Renda

Information from the Russian fuel tanker Renda is being relayed from Capt. Peter Garay, an Alaska Marine Pilot stationed on the vessel for its journey to oil-starved Nome, Alaska.

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  1. The Russian tanker Renda is traveling to Nome, Alaska, with the help of the Coast Guard ice breaker Healy. The caravan has nearly reached Nome, Alaska, the ice-bound city which desperately needs the Renda's bounty: 1.3 million gallons of emergency gasoline and diesel to heat snow-cloaked homes and power vehicles during this winter's record cold.  The Alaska Dispatch is relaying information from several sources including Capt. Peter Garay, an Alaska Marine Pilot stationed on the Renda, through a dedicated Twitter account, @akicemission, detailing the ships' arduous journey.
  2. A damaged part causes a setback, but the ships leave Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Jan. 5, where they have loaded the fuel that is set for Nome.
  3. By Jan. 6, the ships have reached the ice.
  4. But getting through the pack quickly proves to be a tough job, and the estimated length of the trip is extended.
  5. By Monday, the pace starts to pick up.
  6. A retired Coast Guard admiral who is an expert in ice breaking joins the expedition by helicopter on Wednesday. By Thursday, the caravan is 70 miles away from its destination.
  7. On Friday, the ships are close enough to be seen from Nome, and expect to arrive by the end of the day. But the final leg of the journey could be its hardest.
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