When I got back home to Los Angeles, I ran around seeing friends and family while trying to sort myself for another three months in Alaska. Although I can choose when and for how long I work, a three month on/three month off is typical of a lot of observers and works well for me for this coming contract. However, for my previous contract, I was up form early July to late November (4.5 months!) and only had about one and a half months off. Ugh, I wish I had more time to spend with my family and get some other smaller administrative tasks done but oh, well.
I drove to Seattle from Los Angeles for a number of reasons: I can store more things in my car and not have to wear my Alaska clothes around Seattle, public transport in Seattle is expensive and takes ages and I want to explore more of the Pacific Coast on my way back.
Anyway, the journey was smooth thanks to my new car stereo and blow-up mattress. I was pleasantly surprised how well it fit in the back of my sedan, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone taller than myself (5’4”), I barely fit, but slept through the night. My drive was quick with a stop in Sacramento to visit yet another location of my favorite restaurant Ike’s and an afternoon in Portland. There, I went to the largest independent bookstore in the world, Powell’s (I was so overwhelmed, I just ended up getting a mug, vintage Arizona map and single book), delicious pizza place and Voodoo donuts to go.
In Seattle, I stayed with my friend Harris and drove him to work as a thank you. We spent our mornings at an amazing coffee chain, Cherry Street (I can’t get enough of it) before going our separate ways for the day. My family happened to be vacationing in Seattle while I was there, so I spent a lot of time with them. My cousin (his partner and their two kids and two dogs) just got back from living in Tokyo for a few years, so my grandma, auntie, aunt and uncle (his parents) and cousin (his sister) and her two kids came to greet them. There were twelve of us and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the size of my family. My aunt picked out a gorgeous AirBnB overlooking the water and spent the days catching up and watching the kids play. It was so great to see everyone one last time before heading up to The Great Alone. In Seattle, I also enjoyed popping to Gas Works Park and Archie McPhee’s (overrated, pretty much just sell crap). I look forward to doing more tourist things when it’s a bit warmer.
I got to fly on a charter flight to Dutch Harbor with one of my co-worker, Michelle and our crew. It looks like I will be on my current boat for all if not most of my 90-day contract that ends in mid-April. I really like my boat: the crew is literally all family (crew is captain’s son, son-in-law and cousin) and they are very welcoming, communicative and fun. They were thrilled when I told them I’ve been to their home of Porto, Portugal, even though I don’t understand a lick of Portuguese (that probably thrills them too). So far, we’ve done one fishing trip and have been waiting in Dutch Harbor for over a week to fish again due to weather. I mostly just play pool, drink and chat with other observers and hang out with my crew and the crew of Michelle’s boat, our sister boat, playing (indoor) soccer and cooking.
What I’ve been listening to: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Sunset Collapse by Nocturnal Theory, Streetlight Lullabies by Toh Kay, Tokyo by Julien Baker, Internal Atomics by Stray from the Path
What I’ve been watching: You (season 2), Sex Education (season 2), Evil Genius, Dirty Money