Summer Season In Alaska: Second Impressions
|Seward small boat harbour|
Amidst the heat wave, I've begun work at the front desk of the Glacier Tours* company. Our tours go out into the Kenai Fjords National Park (pronounced 'keen-eye fyords'), which is accessible only by water (with the exception of Exit Glacier, which is accessible by road). My job involves checking-in passengers and directing them to their boats and assisting people who wander into the office. As part of my training, I was sent out on an 8 hour boat tour and got to see Aialik Glacier (pronounced 'eye-alik' glacier), one of the largest tidewater glaciers in the park. It was the best paid work day I've had since that time I was paid to fly to Rome to pick up a roll of film (a story for another time).
Two or three times a week, a cruise ship will dock in the Seward harbour and those days are usually the busiest as hundreds of people stream off of those beasts and onto land. The cruise ship passengers seem to be a mixed bag of those that are eager to explore the world and those that find the act of disembarking to be a huge inconvenience and they spend their time anxious to return to their cabins and all-you-can-eat buffets.
|Cruise Ship in Seward Harbour|
In general, the people I work with are smart and enthusiastic. I suspect that this has a lot to do with the fact that most are up here through deliberate effort. They didn't take these jobs because they had to. Rather, they went out of their way to be able to spend the summer in Alaska and the result is a generally appreciative mood exuded by everyone. Some of the people I've met so far include;
|Ocean splash as ice calves from Aialik Glacier|
Tennessee and Gab - a couple from Tennessee. He is one of our drivers and Gab works the front desk with me. They are the type of people who know how to do everything and can be trusted for the latest information regarding what's happening around town. Through their contacts, they have somehow fully furnished their room at the bunkhouse and transformed it into a sweet pad, while the rest of us continue to store our belongings mostly on the floor.
|Humpback whale head peaks out of the water|
Fabio - so nicknamed because of his Fabio-esque appearance, including long, flowing blond hair. He is a bible studies major, so it's unclear if he uses his Fabio status for evil. Yesterday, as he was tying up a boat, a random dog ran out onto the dock, bit his hand, then simply ran off again. So are the days of Fabio's life.
Captain Sparrow - We have several boat Captains living at the bunkhouse. One of them, Captain Sparrow, confessed to me in the kitchen that he is also a poet, but when he recently attempted to weave his latest poem into a presentation he had made for company trainees, it was not well received. I suspect this was a case of 'wrong crowd' rather than a case of 'bad poetry', but I won't know until I have read one of the alleged poems.
|In the distance - military style tent living|