With Dutch Harbor in the rear view window, I am camped out in Louisville, KY. looking for employment and a new chapter.
By: joealaska , 3:56 AM GMT on July 09, 2012
OK. Very busy. Let’s move on.
The big story here is about the explosion on The Excellence Friday. I have not had the chance to hear what exactly happened. But I will. The result was a cloud of ammonia floating from the vessel down Ballyhoo Road across two of the busier docks in town. Not good. Potentially fatal.
This is a big boat who we work with regularly, including Friday. The boat was evacuated as was the immediate area. Two welders were flown to Anchorage for examination, but the captain told me they were walkin’ and talkin’. Not sure if the welders were part of the accident, or just victims working nearby.
After I heard about the accident I had a chance to glance down toward the dock and saw nothing, but it was some time since the accident. But later I did see a cloud coming from the area. Now a day later, I saw from a distance large fire hoses rinsing off the boat (like I said, it is a BIG boat, around 350 feet long). But it continues to be a local story. Police late TODAY were blocking Ballyhoo Road to inbound traffic, which directly affects us. Tomorrow morning we have a delivery to a boat down that road, as well as tomorrow night. A BIG delivery. The local radio said there will be road closures off and on over the weekend. Not sure why.
The cloud of ammonia also STOPPED the unloading of our already-late Friday vessel for 4 hours. But I called everyone and they all had a good attitude, WHAT CAN YOU DO? Dutch Harbor!
The wave of new vessels with Shell Oil are arriving. GREEN PEAS Esperanza came into City Dock and there was no huge riot. Now they are gone and off to The Pribilof Islands, then north to the oil fields in The Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska. Now we have NOBLE DISCOVERER at anchor in the harbor. Our friends NANUQ are back, also at anchor. Then there is NORDICA, an impressive vessel with paint chipped on the bow I assume due to ice. More vessels are due soon, all BIG vessels.
KULLUK will not return, but will bypass Dutch Harbor on their way north.
We are trying to feed all of these new vessels.
SHELL is now having to deal with the still-present sea ice up north that screwed up the crab season. It has slowed down there plans to get vessels up north. That same late ice reflects what I am trying to beat getting over the PASS. It is a superlative year.
FOG is now rearing its ugly foggy head. Affecting flights. Saturday we had freight needing to LEAVE Dutch, so we chartered a plane. It was a big deal. We delivered the large crate in plenty of time to the airport. But the plane eventually turned around due to fog. Many flights were screwed up today. The DC-3 turned around and tried again today.
Today the plane (built in 1944) come in to take one piece of freight to Anchorage, then on to Seward. A roll of cable. It was only 1760 pounds, but would not fit in the door of the typical planes coming through here. The DC-3 was a big plane that could haul 4 times that weight. Plenty of extra room was left over.
We talked to the pilot. He had trubba getting in due to the rope of fog at both ends of the runway. After some plane posturing, he banked in steeply and got it down. We heard him flying around for some time, but could not see him, so we knew it was worse than it looked from the ground. They tried to fly in yesterday, but the fog won that battle. They circled for awhile then returned to Cold Bay and stayed the night at a rustic inn.
The weather has been great here. Sunny with big chunks of fog here and there.
Last weekend we chartered a DC-6 to bring in two 7000 pound motors for a big boat. These motors were not that big, just very dense in weight. Very. The widest dimension was about three feet.
That boat was waiting for delivery to fix a breakdown of equipment, in able to go fishing again. 125 people on board waiting to go to work. The motors pulled in the big trawl bag chock full o’ fish.
They easily fit in our wing truck, but the weight was maximum. My driver drove slowly out to OSI and got it done.
And they all lived happily ever after.
(This blog was written over several days so forgive me some of my past tenses / past pluperfects are messed up...)
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