Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Here is an email sent out by friend. Tells it like it is, so I just copied and pasted it.

We are having a cold wave. The temp is 7 degrees with a wind of 30 mph and gusts to 50. The radio is predicting 14 foot seas and a rough 12 hour ride on the ferry Tustamena. The radio announcer suggested that everyone with a boat in the harbor go down and check on it. Very lively radio broadcasts.
This is a record cold for Kodiak. Pray for global warming.
Yesterday Monday, Alaska airlines announced that they were suspending flights until Thanksgiving because of high winds. I went immediately to the safeway figuring everyone would decide that meant there wouldn't be any food left for the holiday. It looked like Elizabeth City just after they announced a hurricaine was coming. The store was pandemonium. Half the town was there grabbing milk, beer and potato chips and in this case turkeys and cranberry sauce. Managed to get out of there with my pepperoni bottled pickles.
So far the ocean hasn't frozen. All the snow in our yard has blown away. We have some deer in the back yard. They apparently are eating what is left of the potted plants. We have only seen them once since there is now about 17 hours of darkness but their tracks were everywhere before the wind blew away the snow.
Our new boat is on order. Hope to arrange delivery by late January.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Law of the Sea

Politics are confusing. Here is an issue I had no idea existed.

I first read about this the uear before last Spring in a Kodiak newspaper article about a retiring Coast Guard Commander supporting its ratification. But when I looked it up in the Internet, opposition tremendously outnumbered support.

Apparently, if a disagreement occurs between nations concerning what is referenced in the treaty, it goeCs to an UN court in a Caribbean country. That just won't fly with many Americans. Ronald Reagan opposed it; Bush I opposed it.

Clinton made requests for ammendments and got them into the treaty, but political power in Congress changed hands and he didn't bring it up. Bush II supported it but apparently he had too much on his plate.

Now Obama , I think, supports it. But that really doesn't matter: nothing will pass in this divided Congress.

Look up some Internet sites an make up your own mind. But as I see it, many are loosing sight of the forest because of the trees.

Here is how I see it. 1/4 of the world's undiscovered oil is thought to be in the Arctic, along the Arctic's Continental Shelf. With melting of the ice, this will be accessible to drilling. If we sign the treaty we get access to the oil and minerals in our Continental Shelf beyond our current 200 mile limit; if not, we are limited in access to 200 miles from Alaska.

So, what if we have to pay 1to 7% of the profits of what is removed to the international community?

93% of something is a lot better than none.

I know that some say we should not drill in the Arctic. But let's be real: I've read China has been sending it's ocean floor mapping ships to explore this area.....and they don't even have land bordering this area. They are now building more ice breaker ships than we do. Do you think they just like to explore for the fun of it?

Call me a pessimist, but I think we run a high risk of them drilling just outside the US's 200 mile limit of we don't sign the treaty that gives primary access to those assets. What do you think will happen when they ask the UN's " Court" to let them excersice their "rIghts" to the assets in the unclaimed part of the world?

You read about it; see if I am right. Maybe the melatonin from the long nights is affecting my thinking.

But, if you agree, write your Congressman supporting the signing of this treaty. Don't let the current bickering in Washington affect the squandering away of these assets to an international court who'd decide who can drill just outside the 200 miles in OUR Continental Shelf.

Here is the most recent current local article:


Google "law of the sea treaty" and you will find dozens of articles and opinions. Here is a typical one :


OK, I'll shut up for now...and go on a hike. You research this and see if I am right.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New USCG show on TV

Have you checked out the TV mini series about the Coast Guard out of Kodiak? Seems like I recognize a few faces.

Look for it on the Weather Channel

Here is what a promotion had to say:

'Coast Guard Alaska' Premieres

November 09, 2011
U.S. Coast Guard|by LT Stephanie Young

Four hundred miles from the North Pole, ice began to break around a research camp, threatening the camp’s shelters. A Coast Guard aircrew from Kodiak, Alaska, launched to provide support for the camp and ensure the threat of breaking ice was no more. Operations like this are commonplace in our nation’s Last Frontier and have largely gone unseen – until now.

Riding aboard the HC-130 Hercules aircraft alongside the Coast Guard aircrew, was a film crew from the new TV show “Coast Guard Alaska.” The film crew has taped Coast Guardsmen and their families for the past few months and will provide a rare insider’s perspective to the missions and lives of Alaska’s heroes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter hibernation has begun

With the end of Daylight Savings Time, it now gets dark before 6 PM. And that has already had an effect on us.

At first, I thought it was just me. But, no. People at work are telling me that at 8PM they start thinking of going to bed. We have not even watched the 10 PM news all week. We are asleep by that time.

Compare that to summer, when it got dark after midnight. It was not unusual to put the kayak in the water after 10 PM just to paddle out and watch the sun set behind the mountains behind the city.

Now, imagine December, when darkness will arrive by 5 PM.

Good thing the Holidays will be here to keep us busy and entertained.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going to school at 8:15 in the morning

Loading the bus at 8:15 in the morning,
this past Friday, before the end of "Daylight Savings Time".

But with the time change, this week they'll have some nice light
on their way to school.

And......for those who like "the full story".......

With the end of DST, dawn today will be at 7:54.
But by 2 weeks form now, it'll be back to 8:22......
so it'll be dark on the way to the school bus.

That is "dawn".
"Sunrise" is not quite the same.
It'll be at 8:37 today and 9:08 in just 2 weeks.

By Dec 21, it'll break dawn just before 10 AM.....
if clouds don't hide the light till about 10:15 or 10:30.

That is why we enjoy it so much when the sun shines up here in the north!
It's the price of living in wonderland.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marching up Pilar Mtn.

Sunday, after getting used to the sun not rising till after 9 AM, we woke up with the sun in our eyes, thanks to going back from Daylight Savings Time.
What to do when something like that happens?
Go for a hike.

So up Pilar we went, only to be disappointed to have clouds head our way, snow flakes fall on our face at 39 degrees, and wind gusts to 30 mph as we turned into the wind. There was a strong incentive to turn around and head for shelter.

But, weather always changes. So, we continued up.

Sure enough, it was worth it.

Sun started coming out
and even the rat dog seemed to enjoy the view,
1,300 feet down to the sea.

If that does not convince you that it was worth the climb,
check the clouds over Termination Point on the way up,

compared to the sun in our face on the way down.

Moral to the story:
when you feel couped-up, just take a hike.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alaska's Weed

There is a plant which makes our Autumn fields look like they're on fire.

Of course, that is why we thought it was called "fireweed".

It turns out, according to the Internet, that it got its name because it was the first sign of life that developed after a large fire in mid Alaska sometime in the 30's.

But, just take a look at some of our pictures, and tell us if you think we or the Internet is right about its name.

It doesn't always look like fire. For a while it just colors our views.

Of course, it began as a green, plant, growing as tall as a person

then blossoming its flowers,
gradually turning red...usually in the first week of September around our place.

Then it sprouts it's wispy white plume,

taking on the look of fire,

till the weather takes its toll,

and it readies itself for winter's rest.

May you have a colorful and happy Autumn.