Akutan, Alaska

Akutan Travel Blog

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View of the village from the east end

      Akutan is a volcanic island in the Aleutian Island chain that stretches out westward from the mainland of Alaska into the Bering Sea towards Russia. The island is about 40 miles east of Dutch Harbor and consists mainly of one very large volcano, said to still be active, on the western two thirds of the island and a beautiful small bay on the eastern one third where the village of Akutan and the seafood processing plant are located.  The population of the village was 89 at the time I was there. The seafood processing plant is the largest white fish processing plant in North America.

One of the fishing boats tied up to the pier. Waldo the ferocious sea lion lived under this pier and would attack anyone who went under to do any repairs
When running at full capacity, the plant will employ as many as 1000 workers and must provide housing and food for everyone. This is my journal about my time on Akutan.

 

      In keeping with this site’s purpose of listing information for the travelers of this world, I first must say that there is a tiny tourist industry on the island. There is at least one bed and breakfast, a grocery/general store, a restaurant, and the world famous Road House tavern featured on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”, origin of many black eyes and headaches. In addition to the seaplane service to the island, the Alaska Ferry calls once a month to the island. And since I was there, the islanders have voted for bonds to be issued to build an airport although I don’t know the schedule of construction.

 

     My time there was not for tourism and I quickly set in for a busy 12 hour day, 7 day a week schedule.

View of the complete plant
I found the job exciting and challenging and looking back I enjoyed it a lot. I worked the day schedule for about 2 weeks and then was transferred to the night shift as the shift leader and my main task was just to keep the plant running electrically. I found a lot of other things to do such as repairing outside lighting, electrical repairs for all the frozen food container connections, and repairing all the lighting in the huge 30 degrees below zero F holding rooms- brrrr, my feet are still cold from that job. And I learned some new technology things like installing programmable logic controllers, PLCs, all the rage in plant production these days and ship operations. Computers everywhere!!

 

      We did find some time for fun though. There was quite a bit of wildlife here and I enjoyed watching it. Once I started working nights, I had more time to see everything. The most striking thing was the size of the birds.

The church /community center
I have never seen such huge birds. Ravens were like ravens from anywhere else except 4 or 5 times as large. Huge American Bald Eagles although not nearly as many as I was to see later and we found time to aggravate Waldo, a huge sea lion that lived under the pier at the plant and fiercely protected his territory with his huge body, barking, and long teeth. He was one scary dude! And last but not least we made a few trips to the Road House in the village but it was always the quiet time of day thus not too much fun!

 

     After about 5 weeks one of our electricians was to be transferred to St Paul Island’s plant and another man was scheduled to go. On the day he was to leave, a large piece of steel fell on him and he was seriously injured. So I volunteered to go in his place. I had heard about all the wildlife on St Paul and that was one reason I wanted to go to Alaska. So now I am off to see St Paul. Watch for my next 2 or 3 blogs on St Paul and the wildlife photos.

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View of the village from the east …
View of the village from the east…
One of the fishing boats tied up t…
One of the fishing boats tied up …
View of the complete plant
View of the complete plant
The church /community center
The church /community center
The plants work boat
The plant's work boat
The church/community center
The church/community center
Me with the church and village in …
Me with the church and village in…
Check out these huge dishes for co…
Check out these huge dishes for c…
Wooden side walks!
Wooden side walks!
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church and Cemete…
Russian Orthodox Church and Cemet…
Me and the Russian Orthodox Church…
Me and the Russian Orthodox Churc…
Russian Orthodox Church cemetery
Russian Orthodox Church cemetery
The school
The school
Harbor view
Harbor view
Another memorial to an Alaskan bus…
Another memorial to an Alaskan bu…
The ramp where the seaplanes rolle…
The ramp where the seaplanes roll…
Beautiful flowers
Beautiful flowers
Akutan harbor. If you look closely…
Akutan harbor. If you look closel…
Church with the village in the bac…
Church with the village in the ba…
Me with a harbor view
Me with a harbor view
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
Akutan harbor
There he goes!
There he goes!
Me and the school
Me and the school
Beautiful Alaskan flowers
Beautiful Alaskan flowers
This friendly dog made friends wit…
This friendly dog made friends wi…
She loved me! (and the food) :)
She loved me! (and the food) :)
This old girl was really jealous o…
This old girl was really jealous …
Juvenile bald eagle on top of the …
Juvenile bald eagle on top of the…
Juvenile bald eagle on top of the …
Juvenile bald eagle on top of the…
And he is off!
And he is off!
Look at this huge raven
Look at this huge raven
Huge ravens!
Huge ravens!
Our barracks
Our barracks
Our barracks
Our barracks
Fuel storage tanks
Fuel storage tanks
View of the plant at night from th…
View of the plant at night from t…
View of the plant from the mountai…
View of the plant from the mounta…
View of the harbour from the mount…
View of the harbour from the moun…
View of the mountains at the foot …
View of the mountains at the foot…
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Akutan
photo by: bigmac993