February in Review

I got up to Alaska (Dutch Harbor to be exact) for work last month and have been here since. I am currently halfway through my 90-day contract, due to end in mid-April.

Unlike earlier this year where I was all over the Aleutian Islands (Dutch Harbor, Sand Point, Akutan, King Cove, Kodiak, etc.), I haven’t left Dutch Harbor which is a bit of a gift and a curse. This is one of the more lively ports with an average of a dozen other observers out at any given time, but socializing also costs money and I often feel like I’m living in a fishbowl with everyone up in everyone else’s business.


Regardless, I’m having a decent time. My crew is amazing and fishing has been good with short trips and lots of time in town. In town, I enjoy hanging out with other observers and drinking (perhaps too much, I’m trying to cut back), watching movies, reading, playing pool (I’m getting quite good) and on the odd nice day, hiking.


I stand by the fact that you will not find an easier job that pays more money, but it’s not like I’m raking it in and feel like I could be doing more. I think I will really pine for a different job (hopefully a research position in NOAA in Seattle) where I can apply myself more after B season ends in October.


One last thing, Dutch Harbor and the Alaskan commercial fishing community has experienced a lot of tragedy in the last few months. There have been two plane crashes: one fatal, one not. There was a boat that sunk with five souls lost out of Kodiak. Just the other week, a local girl froze to death trying to walk home alone in rough weather. Until now, I haven’t known any of them (not that it makes it any less tragic). My acquaintance Trey passed away in an avalanche this past week. Being so young, his death was extremely untimely and the family could use all the help they can get making arrangements, especially travel. Please consider donating to his GoFundMe to help out.

February in Review 2019 || February in Review 2018 || February in Review 2017

What I’ve been listening to: Blond by Frank Ocean, Wasteland, Baby! by Hozier

What I’ve been watching: Uncut Gems, Joker, Parasite, The Proposal

What I’ve been reading: Check out my reading wrap-ups #24 and #25 from this month.



  1. March 1, 2020 / 10:04 am


    Thanks so much for your continued attention to communication and the beautiful photos. We continue to pray for your safety. Love you, Gpa

  2. Charlene Redpath
    March 1, 2020 / 11:40 am

    Always sooo good to hear from you. Your photos are beautiful. Alaska is truly unique. I hope it never changes but that’s unrealistic. It’s been discovered and EVERYTHING changes.

    Sad to hear about the tragic death of your acquaintance; and hopefully, the family will have the resources to “bring him home”.

    Speaking of “home”, any plans to visit Tucson before Christmas??? Perhaps Ryan’s graduation in May…………………..


    • rachelwuest
      March 3, 2020 / 1:30 pm

      Of course! I’ll be back for the boys’ graduations in mid-May. Love you!

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