I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 6:07 AM GMT on January 21, 2012
We had a busy day today, as Friday usually is. But this will probably be the slowest Friday until May. We only had one container today, and I will not even see it until tomorrow morning. Late again, just like last week. No blaming the freight company. It is Alaska. The arrival of that boat sets the short term parameters we get to work within. This weekend everything is skewed backward a day or so. The good news is there are no boats waiting for food. That will change very soon.
Next week : 4 containers. More than that will happen shortly. This week most of the big boats have come thru town. But they are packed with supplies. No big orders from us yet. But they ALL return in a couple weeks. And they ALL will need product.
This morning I knew we had gotten snow when I woke up and it was so QUIET outside. 6 new inches of powder smoothed out the recent melt. Brown was popping out again with the big melt until last night, when it was all white again.
Today a lot melted again. But it was still an ice plate underneath.
I pulled off the road on my way home to try to catch that huge dark cloud just offshore moving in. A new storm with big wet snow flakes. Tried to film the obscured sun and incoming cloud all at once. Not sure if I got what I wanted, yet.
Then I tried to leave...Trubba. I was going to have to back out of the driveway I was in, up a slight hill. I knew it was slick, and I would have to gun it to get out. Traffic was actually heavy for a town this size. So I wisely chose to turn around. I cannot even remember how, but I got off the driveway by about a foot. There was a slight indentation onto the flat ground. And before I knew it I was stuck. Just unable to get any traction on that ice. I got out and looked. It did not LOOK like I was stuck. And I thought I could get out eventually by the rocking back and forth method. Tried and true.
Wrong sir. I tried for a half hour, and it only got worse. A hundred cars passed by within 100 feet on the main road, many saw me. I was not waving for help, and nobody offered. Just when I was about to call one of my guys for help, someone pulled in to help me out. Two young guys with a local company. They attached a thick rope to my vehicle and yanked me out. But when I tried to slowly leave, the Tahoe was intent on following that old rut back into trouble. I was not as stuck as before, but it was all happening again. They two guys got out and pushed, and it all worked out.
Talked to a guy from Baranof. Sounds like it was just a stupid accident. The radar was out on a relatively clear day. The Captain got distracted. When he looked up the rocks were right there. An inspection of the hull revealed two 14 inch cracks. They were repaired. Not a big deal, but it could have been. Those cracks were right by the fuel tanks. No fuel leaked, thus the no big deal. But if there WAS a leak, it would have been a whole different issue. The boat will be leaving tonight or tomorrow to go fishing.
Our good friends on Glacier Bay returned abruptly last night. Another boat with an engine fire. A bad one (versus a good one) but nobody got hurt. The boat lost power and was helped back to Dutch. Will visit them tomorrow and hear the story. They arrived late last night. I got the call. They were HUNGRY. The stove and ovens were not working. Dry cereal gets a bit old I guess. So we ordered pizzas from a local restaurant. The first place I called was already closed. The second place only had enough stuff for 7 pizzas. The boat wanted 10. So I made a management decision and got a few appetizers. They were very happy.
The boat will be evaluated and repaired if possible. My bet is it will return to Seattle, just like Alaskan Leader last season.
I was able to get a nice tour of Healy when it was here. That bridge is the most impressive I have seen. VERY wide. The photo Arbie posted shows that bank of machines. But there is another bank just as long on the opposite side. With a wide walkway between that and the window.
There is no problem with taking photos of Renda. But there is a definite issue with boarding it and mingling with the crew. They need visas to debark. It is basically a small RUSSIA floating there. Only the Coast Guard will board it.
ME, I just do not see the threat of an attack via the arctic. At least by water or land. Sure, maybe by air, and no billion dollar icebreaker will stop that. I personally think that money is well saved and should be invested in any other method of defense. The good old days of crashing any border are gone. At least in the USA. It will not be by infantry but by missiles launched from thousands of miles away on a Dell. And the best defense will be sent the same way from here.
NOBODY is thinking invasion from the Arctic. It is not a secret being broken. It would just be stupid. Here in Dutch we may see a nice contrail from an ICBM, and I will get that photo. And hopefully a follow-up of the interception. Russia as a threat? Not so much.
But we have beets if they succeed.
Yak Tracks are good when you only walk ice. But I have had issues when walking on vessels with smooth steel floors. As well as smooth concrete.
We are pretty well knowledgeable about snow in Alaska. NO SAND. But they use plenty of gravel. Over and over.
YES, ALWAYS looking forward to my next vacation. May or June, based around a family reunion. It will be combined with a road trip. Again with The Plains as well as the upper Midwest.
REALLY looking forward to it, a bit too early...
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