Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Birthplace of the Winds"

Disclaimer: The following post has nothing to do with the UAA Ski Team:
(Check back later in the week for more UAA Ski Team news from our first races in Fairbanks.)
How to pack for trip to Saint Paul Island:
1. Bring lots of books and lots of foul-weather gear.
2. Bring patience and curiosity, because you'll see things here that you can't see anywhere else.
3. Bring lots 'o money, because nothing's cheap.

A couple days ago I got on an airplane, flew out to the Pribilof Islands in the middle of the Bering Sea, and landed on Saint Paul Island. I had one hour's worth of work to do, but needed to stay overnight to catch the next plane back to Anchorage.  Just as I knew it would, a storm came rolling in behind me, so now I've spent the past couple days marooned on this island in the Pacific Ocean.  Winds have been gusting to around 60-70 mph, but that's pretty common around here.  In some places they call this kind of weather a hurricane, but here it's called "Tuesday".
It's pretty easy to spot Saint Paul Island - It's marked by that big red letter "L".
Saint Paul Island is a basically a four-mile-long sand dune in the middle of the Bering Sea.  When you fly in, it'll look like this:

But don't be fooled; it doesn't stay this way for long. This area has been called "Birthplace of the Winds" because of the strong storms that blow through on a regular basis.  So I've been stuck here for a couple days, and I'm hoping the weather will calm down enough for the plane to come in tomorrow.  But if not, I'll find plenty to do if I have to stay a few more days.  Saint Paul Island has beautiful beaches and about 500,000 fur seals, which have their rookeries on Saint Paul Island's beaches.  Today I attempted to go out for a 1-hour run, but ended up coming home 2.5 hours later because there is so much cool stuff to see out there, including all those fur seals as well as some enormous waves. 

That wave is bigger than it looks; I took the picture from a high cliff with full telephoto...
Reminder:  First UAA Ski Team race is on Friday in Fairbanks.  More info here:

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Adam, your life is an awesome adventure! We'll see you in a few days.