Dutch Harbor is located in Unalaska, Alaska on Amaknak Island (the heart of the Aleutian Islands). It is a natural port that is protective against the unpredictable Bering Sea. My students said "That is where the Deadliest Catch docks." Well if you want to work on a crab boat they actually load up crew and all in Seattle, Washington.
Just as the crab boats, our equipment and supplies are placed on board in Seattle. Sooooo a month before I board the ship, my gear was shipped and stowed on the USGCS Healy. Why? you might ask...well the small plane from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor has a weight limit. If you and your bags weigh too much the bag stays behind. I envisioned a large scale, like the one from television show "Biggest Looser" with the total weight displayed of your bag and you for all to see. Luckily they just weigh your bag and ask you your weight. What a relief! I am taking a small carry on with me comprised mostly of items needed to journal (cameras, computer, and etc). By the way, Dutch Harbor is 800 miles away from Anchorage. Wow! Now if I were driving from Corpus Christi, Texas to Dutch Harbor I would be in the car for 129 hours and traveled 5294 miles.
Descending below the cloud cover as we land in Dutch Harbor was like the scene from Jurassic Park.
Some people on the plane saw whales before we landed. Near the ship we saw a seal like creature and a sea otter. I have been told that we leave the dock we will see whales! I cannot wait!