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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...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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14. joealaska
6:26 AM GMT on January 24, 2012
Have not seen this seal yet, but look forward to it.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Debbie56
6:21 AM GMT on January 24, 2012

Hi Joe & everyone,

I saw this article and thought this might be an animal Joe may never see in Dutch Harbor but it lives in the neighborhood. This is an Arctic ribbon seal spotted in the Seattle area.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. joealaska
5:31 PM GMT on January 23, 2012
70 mph winds, 15 degrees. Local whiteouts then

Remember that boat I got the ride on last year? Well it came in yesterday and had a big engine fire just as it was getting ready to dock. Second fire in a week on boats here.

And those 2 boats are part of the same company.

Nobody hurt.

That was my weekend.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. insideuk
1:00 PM GMT on January 23, 2012
Given your recent forays into mounds of the white stuff (of the legal but cold kind, lest there be any confusion) I'd suggest Gnu Guy leaves a Tahoe sized corner of his new place free from anything of great value.

Just in case.

The building is clearly situated in a dip AND on a curve in the road. Should Joe gain a heavy right foot in icy conditions/ lose some of his jinxed tyres / fail to notice he has already lost some jinxed tyres/ swerve to avoid wildlife/ swerve whilst leaning into the footwell to retrieve dropped camera whilst filming wildlife/ lose concentration whilst he lusts after a passing snowplow - delete as applicable - he could find himself slewing, albeit quite unwillingly, volte-face straight into the Gnu place without so much as an invite nor some home baked cookies.

The weather forecast for Dutch shows no let up in sight. If anything its getting colder and windier. Tan brown may not feature again for quite some time. Shades of bluish white glowing in the darkness will be hard to avoid in the circumstances.

That failed and fogged up sealed window unit may save a few awkward moments for the new near neighbours when the full moon comes out...

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. MissNadia
12:43 PM GMT on January 23, 2012
Good Morning,
The Oil Guys are 102 miles South of Nome at 7 this morning ( EST)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. Rotty3
8:27 PM GMT on January 22, 2012
Looks like JoePa is gone... I won't say more...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. joealaska
7:01 PM GMT on January 22, 2012
Nothing for sure, but it seems like the boats will come back through Dutch.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. Arbie
3:12 PM GMT on January 22, 2012
So, Joe and NewGuy are neighbors now! It looks like NewGuy's sky light will be covered in snow all winter.

That ice coming off the roof looks wicked.

As for the snow coming down again--at least at the moment the picture was taken at 8am yesterday it was not windy. That is something.

Maybe we will see Renda fuel up in Dutch Harbor, maybe she will just sail off into the Russian sunset.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. MissNadia
1:41 PM GMT on January 22, 2012
Healy and Renda are cracking ice and moving right along.... made 60 miles South yesterday !!!

Joe. are you going to resupply them ?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. MissNadia
10:46 PM GMT on January 21, 2012
Healy and Renda have left Nome.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. Arbie
4:03 PM GMT on January 21, 2012
It was sort of bugging me that I couldn't find the Russian side to the Renda-Healy adventure. So, I went searching. I really couldn't find much. I have to conclude that this is not big news in Vladivostok. :) The Russian Embassy in the UK had a one paragraph blurb that is not worth repeating for people that have already been following the story. The only thing I found was an article on rt.com (click on this link to read). If you are not familiar with rt.com, otherwise known as Russia Today, it is a Russian state-operated news organization with an English-language arm aimed at the U.S., U.K., etc. So, it is very politically correct. But it is interesting to hear some different viewpoints. Apparently, this is not the first time Renda has done this. According to the article, in 2000 they made a similar emergency delivery in the middle of the arctic winter to a Russian arctic coastal town.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. Rotty3
3:30 PM GMT on January 21, 2012
well, I'm glad Florida shows 17C ... -3C in DH to compare. Not what I like. At least the horses are happy in the mud. Looks like it's shaping up to be another weird winter. Too warm and wet on Tuesdays and early Wednesdays.
This weekend, some rain forecast, just to mix it up.

Still busy w/ writing though I've been fighting sinus infection (starting head cold?) for the past few days. Not surprising to me given the weather and the stress of late. Nothing close to Joe's, but still stress.

Have a great weekend and a good start into the new week. Hopefully, Joe, the weather will improve and the ice sheet will be a distant memory soon.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. bearpaints
1:25 PM GMT on January 21, 2012
Wow and you left Arizona for this? Sorry I remember those days from living in Illinois and stories like this reminds me why. The low this morning is 34 and I thought I was cold. But your life sounds so exciting to me all the coming and going never dull.

The ships just amaze me and after all if Russia wanted to invade us why are they helping us? I loved the pictures from Carol of Nome, AK. Such a cute little town. I miss small towns for sure, one of the reasons we want to move. Then again the only thing in my town is 3 feed stores, and 2 bars. But Dutch besides the boys from DC is a very interesting place to live or so it sounds.

I think thinking of vacations more and more comes with ageing. I'm dreaming of retirement hopefully when I can still get out and about. It's what keeps us going. Have a great weekend Joe and don't work so hard share some laughs with others around you. Makes the time go by.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. dotmom
11:32 AM GMT on January 21, 2012
Good morning!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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About joealaska

I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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