Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was our 2nd Thanksgiving away from family, last year being the 1st since we stayed in San Diego.  Last year my dad came to visit us for the holiday, this year we had Kolt's friend Cooper come over.  Kolt cooked a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, & green bean casserole.  We also had cranberry sauce & rolls.  Kolt baked a homemade cherry pie & I made a pumpkin pie.  We also had an apple pie that I brought home from work.  Needless to say, we had A LOT of food.  Since Gunner is like our child, I of course insisted that he have a Thanksgiving meal as well.  He got to have a little bit of almost everything we had in his dog bowl & he got to eat at the same time as us.  I think he really liked it.  We ate early, around 1pm, & afterwards Kolt, Cooper, & Gunner all fell asleep in the living room.  It snowed most of the day & I decided to bring out all the Christmas stuff & start decorating the house.  This is when I discovered that I do not have enough shelving space for everything, but I managed to make it work.  I also got the Christmas tree up & decorated.  The only thing left is to put the lights up outside.  My favorite part of the day was skyping with my family.  It was so good to see & talk to everyone & feel just a little bit like we had our family with us.  In the evening we went to visit some of our friends who live on the other side of housing.  Overall, it was a very relaxing day.  We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Afternoon on the Boat

Today was one of the rare days it didn’t rain & since we were both off work for the holiday, we decided to take the boat out to do some fishing.  This was my 1st time out on our new boat, or any boat since we arrived in Sitka.  This was Kolt’s 1st time taking his own boat out on his own without his friends who have been helping him.  However, we were going to meet up with some friends who were already out on the water & tie the 2 boats together.  We also took Gunner out with us & it was his very 1st time on a boat.  Getting Gunner on the boat was challenging, he dug his nails into the dock & layed down so we couldn’t get him in.  Kolt ended up getting out of the boat, picking him up & then climbing in the boat with him.  Once he was in, he didn’t seem to mind it.  He was looking over into the water & sniffing everything & could not sit still.  Once we started moving I had to put him in the lower cabin with a bone to try & calm him down.  He did not know what to think of being on the boat when it was moving.  It has been cold here & the snow has slowly been creeping further & further down the mountain closer to land.  We are replacing the canvas that encloses the main cabin so as of now it is open, which means when we are moving it is COLD.  We stayed close to land since we were only going to the other side of the island.  We met our friends in Silver Bay which is where there are a couple sight seeing pullouts on the road as well as the Whale park which has gazebos with whale information & lookout scopes for whale watching.  This is where we saw the pod of Orcas just a couple weeks ago & I have heard that during these winter months whales frequent this bay.  Once we arrived in Silver bay, we immediately saw whales.  We could see them cresting the water & sometimes they were so close that their spouts were really loud.  It was beautiful.  Kolt & his friend fished a little bit but it was so cold that we didn’t stay out too long.  Gunner seemed to like it as well, putting his front paws up on the side of the boat so he could see more.  On our way back in Gunner finally layed down in the lower cabin & got comfortable.  Our friends followed us back in & I turned around one time to see how far behind us they were & between our boat & their boat, a whale surfaced the water…. It was AWESOME!  We weren’t out very long since it was so cold but we had a good time.  We are both VERY excited for the spring & Summer so we can spend more time out on the water.  It will be a little warmer & we will have more daylight.  As of right now it is completely dark by 4:30pm & it is really throwing our sense of time off track.  We have gotten a little bit of snow last week but we are supposed to be getting more next week.  The weather forecast is predicting snow Monday - Wednesday & on a couple days the highs are only going to be in the 20’s.  However, there has been a severe winter storm passing through Alaska & we have managed to avoid getting hit by that.  I think it mainly effected the west part.   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Coast Guard Alaska Premiers Nov. 9

 The weather channel has a new series called "Coast Guard Alaska" which premiers November 9th.  A good majority of the show is based out of Kodiak since that is where most of the SAR (search and rescue) takes place.  However, the shows film crew has been at the Sitka Air Station this past week so hopefully they will show some of Sitka's Coast Guard.  For a sneak peak you can go to    

Kolt is an AET3 - Avionics Electrical Technician 
The rescue swimmers you will see are AST's - Aviation Survival Technician
Some of the crew you will see on the helicopters are AMT's - Aviation Maintenance Technicians

The bigger helicopters you will see are HH-60J Jayhawks, also known simply as 60's, which is what Kolt works on.  They are the same as a blackhawk & the Sitka air station has 3 of them.  These helicopters can fly for up to 8 hours at a time.

The Kodiak Air Station has 60's, but they also have the smaller helicopters HH-65B Dolphin, which are usually referred to as 65's or dolphins.  The Dolphins are usually all orange where as the 60's are orange & white.  These smaller helo's can only fly for a couple hours & can land on the larger cutters.  They usually go underway with the larger cutters on long deployments.  

The third type of aircraft that the Kodiak air station is home to is the HC-130H Hercules fixed wing planes.  They are commonly known as C130's or Herc's.  C-130's are used primarily for long range over water search and rescue missions & International Ice Patrol missions, as well as cargo and personnel transport.  They also have the capability of air dropping rescue equipment to survivors at sea or over open terrain.  

So for those of you who are fans of the show "Deadliest Catch"...... these are the guys who risk their lives to save those fisherman's asses when they are in trouble.