After finishing our three week intensive observer training course, the twenty of us graduates dispersed into the wind. We would get word of who went to what boats and who flew to which ports, but ultimately it was an anxious waiting game as we sat around for that phone call that could come at any moment telling us where we would ship out to. After a week in Anchorage, I got the call and flew out to Dutch Harbor – a small Aleutian island notorious for its history in the fishing industry. As a central hub for the majority of fishing activity in the Bering Sea, nearly all of the four thousand inhabitants of the island are somehow involved in the industry – whether it be working on boats, on-shore factories, or transportation of product. Nearly 75% of the workers are seasonal and from any number of countries making up one of the most diverse work forces imaginable
After the five hour flight in on the small propeller plane that makes its rounds to Dutch (including two stops along the way to fuel up) we landed on what looked like a dream come true after spending the last month living in the city of Anchorage. The island is blanketed with mountains up to 2,500 feet tall – just what a kid like me who’s been stuck in the city for the past month has been waiting for! With peaks literally everywhere, there’s plenty of opportunity to hike around and explore the island for the few days I’m here.
The weather is almost always a cloudy, misty, gray scene not unlike that of Ohio (ugh) but it’s manageable, especially considering the fact that I can finally get some elevation! Not sure I could survive in a place like this permanently as I am a big fan of sunshine, I can definitely enjoy myself here for the three months or so that I will be in and out of the harbor. And that’s all for now, its time for me to get the last few hours of use out of my legs before I head out on the boat tomorrow morning and hit the high seas!
Moose give the best kisses!
Hiking around Dutch Harbor
A view from the top of one of the peaks – the plant where the boats offload is visible in the center
Hiking around Dutch
What a beauty!