Saturday, June 22, 2013

Welcome to Dutch Harbor, it's a warm 20 degrees today!

Alaska thus far has been a complete shock. I had no idea places got this cold. Waking up with icicles surrounding your windows, black ice coating the streets. All I can say is we have it easy in Southern California. I arrived in Dutch harbor on a particularly small plane. Not quite as small as the planes I took in the Bahamas, but small enough to make me squirm at the first sign of turbulence. Leading up to my arrival in Dutch, I had been told that if the weather wasn't absolutely perfect, the plane would be diverted to another Aleutian island with a bigger runway, or you would be sent back to anchorage. You see, the runway in Dutch Harbor is one of the smallest, most difficult runways to land on in the United States. It is positioned in between what can only be described as, Lord of the Rings esk mountains, in the middle of the Bering Sea. A sight you have to see to believe.

If everything is perfect on the approach in, meaning there is absolutely no snow, wind or clouds the specially trained pilots will land in a faraway land. Otherwise you will be continually sent somewhere else until conditions improve. On my particular flight there were numerous individuals who were on the third flight attempt into Dutch, they had been diverted 2 times previously. As luck would have it we managed to land our small flying machine with no problem at all. I fear now that I have arrived with no difficulties, getting off this island could be a struggle. And thus I first laid eyes on the famous fishing port, Dutch Harbor.

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