Flying the Goose to Akutan
Aleutian Islands, Alaska, United States
I had a unique experience the other day, when making my way from Dutch Harbor to the small village of Akutan in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. I was a passenger on the land/water plane called the Grumman Goose. There are not too many of these made anymore (since WWII), and they are especially useful here where the plane must land without a runway. The flight was only about 20 minutes once airborne, but it was a beautiful trip. The pilot let me sit in the co-pilots seat up front (which was a first for me) and that gave me the best view to try and take some pictures. The weather was basically perfect, which doesn’t happen too often in the Aleutian Islands, especially this time of year. I must admit I was a little nervous getting into this small plane knowing how bad the weather can be around here. I’m not much for being in a plane when it’s really windy out and how much more in an 8 seater. But when I sat down in the plane all my nerves calmed, the plane took off and immediately we had beautiful scenery all around us. I did my best to get some shots, but the planes propeller and dirty windows didn’t help my cause. I did mange to get a few keepers though.
Akutan is a small Alaskan village about 35 miles from Dutch Harbor and is only accessible by boat or plane. The village itself is really small with less than 50 permanent households. It’s really quite here in town and I have only seen three or four people walking around since I arrived. However, the reason most people come to Akutan is because of the Trident Seafood Plant. During fishing seasons the plant employs over 1200 people from all over the world. Well, all over the world with the majority of the workers being Filipinos. “It’s like little Philippines here man,” said my Filipino driver who took me to the plant when I arrived. I feel at home here seeing all the Filipinos, but honestly I haven’t interacted with too many people since I arrived because everyone is busy working. I’ve been exploring the town as much as I can and enjoying the sunny weather and beautiful scenery.
I am waiting to get on a boat later tonight where I will be working for the next few weeks. After this trip I will be heading down to Florida for the Bike Rally and then back home to Cebu.