One of the sayings here is that “there is a woman behind every tree in Dutch Harbor” (there are no trees in Dutch Harbor- get it?). They aren’t kidding. I think the guys outnumber the women by about 10 to one.
4th of July was Tina Jones’ (Grey Pearl) birthday so Braun took us all to the Grand Aleutian for a private party and dinner. It was a great Hot Dog and Burger roast reminiscent of our New England holiday weekends! Afterward, we went to the bar in the hotel where they had “Jam Night”. The talent on this little island is really amazing. They had a woman who has cut several albums and sings solo while playing the piano. After playing for a short while she began to introduce a series of musicians/singers who performed until the wee hours of the morning. One guitar player, who was EXCELLENT, is the guy who wrote the theme song for “The Deadliest Catch” and performed it. He introduced a flute player who had just arrived from Egypt ( I have no idea what that was all about). He played as well as any I have ever heard. It was a great night. Fireworks were the following night but we were long asleep before they started (and woke us up!!). Okay, we don’t go to bed THAT early guys……It’s just that it doesn’t get dark here until about quarter to one in the morning!! Lots of people came up to us in the bar and were SO interested in what we were doing.
We have been here for about nine days and now that the culture shock has worn off, we kind of like it here. The people here are pretty special. We have been dealing with two electronics repair facilities, Lunde Electronics and Harris Electronics and both cannot do enough for you. Lunde did the necessary repairs on our electronics installations that have been nagging us since we left Seattle and Harris has supplied much of the electronic gizmoids that we have needed or just wanted. They also have served as our “mailbox” for any items that we have needed shipped to here from anyone. Getting stuff here is tricky. The best service is US Mail Express if you need stuff in a hurry (that means in about 3 days). FedEx gets it to Anchorage and then kind of washes their hands of the whole shipment. A local airline has to get it here and they always bump packages for passengers. My personal emergency shipment was a new 4 Terabyte hard drive as I was running out of space on the one I had for movies! Ken, who was in Seattle anyway, picked it up for me a shipped it here.
On a sad note for Dutch Harbor residents, there was shooting at a local restaurant a few nights ago. It involved two 20 yr olds. Even here in Dutch Harbor, you do not get a sense of all the facts and rumors are flying. We still do not know what exactly happened and the condition of the shooters. One thing for sure is that it does not happen very often here.
A few days ago we saw our first other pleasure boat cruisers in quite a while. First, there was an 85 foot sailboat that arrived after a nonstop trip from Tokyo, Japan. They evidently had a nice trip with a 4 knot current behind them. Uhhh…..gee, we are going the other way?? I hope the current is not AGAINST us by 4 kts!!
The other boat arrived a few days later. It was a 42 ft sailboat that came straight from Prince Rupert in BC and was on their way to transit the Northwest Passage to Greenland and south from there. They have a link for their website http://www.openpassageexpedition.com/index.html and you can follow their progress. There are 3 guys aboard and they were traveling with a woman who was supposed to be documenting the trip with photos and/or video. Evidently, two weeks at sea were enough and she left them shortly after arrival in Dutch Harbor. This is not easy cruising up here and THAT is a small boat!! We were joined by one of the crew during dinner who was not much of a sailor himself. He was actually a doctor and served in that capacity for the trip. He was a really funny guy and entertained us with a lot of stories.
I just got a copy of the local newspaper “The Dutch Harbor Fisherman” here and there is a big article about us in it. I think it must be national news because it is an Associated Press wire story. It describes us as a group of millionaires being escorted through the Aleutians by a local fisherman (Bill Harrington). Well, anyway, we just fueled up the boat and don’t feel too rich right now!! ……and if you smoke, you REALLY must feel poor because Wayne noticed that in the bar, cigarettes in the vending machine were $24 per pack!!
We are supposed to be out of here tomorrow but we checked the weather and the forecast is 35kt winds and 17 foot seas. As we explained to Bill Harrington one night when we were discussing the crummy conditions we had just encountered coming to Dutch Harbor “we are doing this for fun and don’t have any desire to go out and take a beating when calm weather may be a few days away”. If we get caught in the stuff, so be it…we have all done it before and these boats can take it….but why go out knowing you will be getting your butts kicked for three days and nights? Tuesday is supposed to calm down substantially so the vote amongst us was unanimous….we wait until Tuesday.