Photo by Mike Zerby
Richard Olsenius (left) and Christine on Sheila Yeates during filming of America's Inland Coast in 1987
Richard and Christine Olsenius have been collaborating on books, films and online multi-media productions for 35 years. Blending writing, video and photography skills they have created stories that celebrate a sense of place, showcase personal adventure and highlight regions of great beauty. Their films have won awards at both the New York and Chicago International Film Festivals and an Honorable Mention at the National Education Film and Video Festival. Their multi-media project; “Arctic Odyssey”, won Second Place from the National Press Photographer’s Association. Richard Olsenius is also a recipient of the World Press Photo Award. Visit www.AmericanLandscapeGallery.com to view their complete work.
In producing “Icebound: Last Voyage of the Sheila Yeates”, the Olsenius’ have blended their videos; “America’s Inland Coast” and “In the Name of Our Daughters and Wives”, which included footage on Geoff Pope and the Sheila Yeates. In addition, they used still photos from a National Geographic Magazine assignment on the Great Lakes that was the genesis for meeting and forming a long-term friendship with Geoff. Christine spent time researching former Sheila Yeates crewmembers, friends and boat builders and reviewing newspaper articles on Geoff to glean first-hand stories and information for the written article. Richard applied his design skills to integrating all the text, video, audio and photographs into a long-form story for the Web.
Robert Bruce, long-time friend and former business partner of Geoff’s, provided a copy of the Sheila Yeates’ logbook. Finally we were able to compare log entries with the final days of being icebound. Bob also provide early magazine articles on the Sheila Yeates and a copy of the tow agreement with the Kiviuq.
Bob Crockett, long-time friend of Geoff’s and one of the boat builders who worked on the Sheila Yeates back in the 1970’s, allowed us to quote from his detailed letters and blog posts about Geoff and the Sheila Yeates.
Olí Lindenskov (left) and Hjalter Poulsen, both from the Faroe Islands, were crewmembers on the Kiviuq 1 who took the video of the rescue and sinking of the Sheila Yeates. Aside from their important duties, their persistent camera work was pivotal to this story about a dramatic rescue at sea.
Mike Metzmaker, now a teacher in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, provided valuable insight on the impact Geoff and the Sheila Yeates had on so many people and added his memories of the events leading up to and after the rescue of the ship.
Rick Palm, now an executive with an engineering firm in Minnesota, provided background documents on the original Sheila Yeates newsletter, a Minneapolis Tribune article on the sinking of the Sheila Yeates and Geoff’s notes from his trip to the Northwest Passage. These provided valuable details to piece together story segments. In addition, Rick’s photos captured some of the flavor of life at sea which were helpful to telling a more visual story.
Nathaniel Wilson is a sail maker in East Booth Bay, Maine. His detailed memories of events from the July 1989 trip, his story from his Maine Coastal News article and his excellent photographs from the journey added depth to the storytelling and helped us visualize life on board the ship, including the rescue and towing of the Sheila Yeates.
Photo of Nat Wilson by David Harp.
Michael Zerby, a former photographer with the Minneapolis Tribune and veteran sailor on the Sheila Yeates, provided some excellent photographs of Geoff sailing on Lake Superior. That is where the story of the Sheila Yeates began for so many of us.
Dr. R. Smith and Pat Schuneman, colleagues, teachers, and longtime friends contributed time and equipment in the filming of Geoff Pope's interviews. Without their support and effort, this project would not have come to fruition.
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