Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not all are strenous races at Carbfest!

While some like the 40+ mile bike ride, then a nine mile race and then a mile swim...
some of Kodiak's fun lovers prefer a different type of race:

The annual Crabfest Bed Race.

Rules: make something that looks like a bed, have someone sit on it, and have a bunch of friends push him or her down the road and see who is the fastest team .....and have fun while doing it.

But unfortunately, any race does require some effort.

And has those anxious moments,
as you wait for the official timer's report!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring has sprung.....and night shall come!

Last night the 15 year old lab kept whining. Mad, I guess, because we had taken the 7 year old mutt to Crabfest, but not her.

So at 10:30 PM we walk to Mill Bay for a little swim in the ocean.
Made it back by 11:30, still in daylight.

Here's last night at 10:30:
you can still see the reflection of the sun on Spruce Cape's shore.

And here is a pic today, of the dandelions that just keep multiplying!

From brown to green to yellow, all in about 2 weeks.
Soon we'll get bouquets of color!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dry Suit Dressing Competition

Crabfest is more than just food. We have a parade, bed races down the street, etc etc. Lots of fun. Here the crowd watches the Dry Suit Competition.

In this race, a team of four run down a ramp, put on their wet suit, get checked to be sure they made their suit watertight, then jump in the water and swim to a raft on the other side of the harbor.

There are many novices who have never competed before, high schoolers, families who are in the fishing business, fishermen, and a few years ago, a group of Army guys who were here decided to show that they too could compete in the water sports.

The person who gets into the raft the quickest is declared the individual winner. This year is was shortly over one minute for an individual. The fastest team, (when all 4 were in the rescue raft) took about 3 1/2 minutes.

I listened carefully to the announcer as he reported on the progress and challenges of each team. From what I gather, some think wearing jeans is a hindrance because of the friction on putting on the suit; others have no problem at all with that.

The main problem is getting the hood over the head once you've put on those clumsy crab-claw like hands and sleeves of the suit. If you have problems, your partners help you. On average, it seems 1 out of 4 needs someone else's help to get zipped up.

As you would expect, the number one cause for failure:
broken zippers as you try to close the suit.

That is why they say, you don't just check the suit for integrity once, but more than once a year...and maybe before each trip out. Even then, problems happen.

Here a young girl had a defective zipper and decided to swim anyway,
though disqualified because of failure to make the suit watertight.

You can see they are carrying her on her back, to prevent water getting into the suit form around her neck.

Moral to the story: check your gear...and hope for the best.

Crabs at Crabfest

Unfortunately we have caught much of the crabs in Kodiak's waters.
But we still love crab.

How much do we love it?

Enough to make a festival....

dress up like these guys.....

and stand in long lines to get freshly caught and cooked crab!

Well worth standing in line for!!!!

On a different subject....
This has turned out to be the sunniest Crabfest!
So, some took a more wholesome attitude.

"When the sun shines, get a tan", this young man says.

Friday, May 27, 2011

First day of Crabfest

Friday: The first day of Crabfest has arrived.

And it was a complete surprise:
sunniest day of the year and as hot at July...
way up in the mid 50's!

Check the people at this year's carnival.

Imagine a May with: No rain coats. No hats! And SHORTS !!!!!

How about that long line at the food vendor's?

The Bruin Burger is the favorite.....
then freshly dipped ice cream bars with almonds on a hot day!
What could be better?.

Better carb-up on Saturday, 'cause Sunday is race day!

Check out thr KMXT Public Radio's presentation about it all at:


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crabfest is finally here!

Scool has ended. The kids are on a high. It's Memorial Day weekend.

That means 3 things:
Kodiak folks are ready to party;
it is the beginning of Summer for us (whether the sun shines or not)
and most of all, it is CRABFEST weekend!!!!

So what do we do?

We go don our rain gear, go watch the parade, go to eat at the Crabfest booths and mingle with those "huge" crowds.

And you can participate in whatever type of races you want: The Kodiak Ididarock Race: a 41 mile bike ride from the end of he road to the city, then a 9 mile run, followed by a mile swim? Or mayby the 26.1 mile Carbfest Marathon? Or a race up Pillar Mt? The Annual Crabfest Tennis Tournament? A kayak race around Near Island? If those are not your cup of tea, how about: Arm wrestling competition? A ping pong tournament? A bed race down the street? Or a construction competition? A kids foot race? The annual dressing in survival suit and swim to the rescue boat competition?

How about watching the Kodiak Drummers, or a benefit for St Jude's Children's Hospital with music by Ken Peltier? Russian folk music by the Kodiak Balalaika Players? The 11th Crabfest art show? or the Seniors art show? A chess tournament?

The Coast Guard rescue demonstration? A tour of a Coast Guard Cutter? The library book sale? The tent sale at Macs sporting goods? Or perhaps best of all..the Friends of teh NRA banquet and gun rafel!

Yes, all that and tons of more fun are coming this weekend.

Here's the "crowds" at the booths and watching the races
in pics we found from 2009(by the way it was PM, not 4 AM)

No matter whats the weather, we are having fun this week end!

But the best thing of all...is that the carnival has arrived on the ferry!

Tune in over the weekend and we'll show more pics of us having fun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What a difference a month makes!

Here are pics we took during the first week of May:

Admittedly, they are 1200 feet above sea level, on top of Pilar Mt, looking down on one of Kodiak's harbor.

Now take a look at the third week, 100 feet above sea level:

Yes, those are salmonberry leaves and flowers that have appeared within the last week!

Soon they will look somethinglike this:

And by July and August.......
....they will be scrumtuous!

PS: If you don't like the weather, don't worry, it'll change...
...(or just climb to the weather you like!)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ready for Kayaking

Weather was great for 1 week. Lots of people put their kayak on their cart tops, ready to go.

Then the rains came back.

We are just waiting for the seas to calm down so we can put the kayak back in the water.

Here are some pictures from a prior June, paddling along the kelp. Mill bay's houses are in the background.

See why we like it so much?

It can be so quite out here. Only the sound of your paddle moving the water and the fluttering of the bird's wings as they fly by.

Not bad for entrainment at 10 PM, and a good way to relax before bedtime.

Here is a picture of kelp's leaves, in case you've never seen it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One more big bird

In Kodiak you keep sane during the winter wondering about things you guys in the lower 48 have no time to think about. Before you know it, you think it's worth studying.

One book I read was on identifying birds. They recommended you figure the size and weight of a bird you know and compare any new ones to those characteristics. Then you apply it's color scheme, beak, etc, etc, etc and figure out what it is.

So, while vacationing in the lower 48 and driving for miles and miles through the Southwest, I found myself comparing those birds to our Kodiak birds.

The lower 48 buzzards are interesting to me. A recent comparison chart on our blog showed that it is not really much less in wingspan than an eagle.

But why is it that every time a little wind comes up, those buzzards seem to suddenly loose their balance and tilt 15 - 30 degrees. Not so for our eagles; it takes a mighty gust to make them tilt much.

I've figured it out: they have a very slim trunk, compared to eagles...probably 1/3 their weight. And that explains why they get buffeted all over the place by a little wind!

Anyway, I know you are getting tired of our bird stories. So we'll leave that subject with 2 pics of one type of Kodiak seagulls.

If you have nothing else to do, try to figure out what kind of gull this is.

Look at the color on its legs and beak. Look at its size.

But, for me, its a pretty darn big compared to an 18 wheeler's tire.
Don't you agree?

Maybe next winter will be a good time to classify it further.