Last evening Goldfish and I walked up Haystack for our evening workout, noting the rising winds, the leading edge of a major storm. When I walked Chico before bed, the wind blew him back and forth on the road like a kite on the end of the leash and I knew we were in for a good one.
As you have no doubt read on some of the other island blogs, the 58 foot F/V Icy Mist was taking on water and was intentionally grounded on Akutan Island where the Coast Guard eventually safely rescued all four crew members. You can read more about that here. Kudos to the helicopter crews that responded and rescued the crew in some of the worst weather of the year - amazing flying, by any standard.
During the night we had wind gusts on Unalaska recorded at 107 MPH with many unofficial reports of 120 MPH. These gusts tore off a few roofs, flipped skiffs off trailers, broke smoke stacks, and just generally threw around anything not nailed down. I love the sound of a good storm and I slept like a baby; Goldfish, not so much. During the night a houseboat tore loose from it's moorings in the small boat harbor and drifted across to Alyeska with two people on board. They were able to hop off when it grounded at the mouth of the creek and unsuccessful attempts were made to tie the boat off. It ended up at our dock, right by the cod unloading area, where it sank.
In the top picture you can see the roof of the houseboat; the third picture down you can see a Magone Marine crew on-site with salvage vessel Joshua. They were able to pump out enough of the water to tow the boat to the Alyeska boat ramp and drag it on shore as the Coast Guard observed. In the bottom photo, the man and his fiance that were staying on the houseboat are salvaging what they can of their possessions. I figured I should take a few photos as all this was happening a stone's throw from my desk.
Despite all the violence and damage, I haven't heard of any lives lost on the Bering from this one, and for that we are all thankful, and again humbled by the forces nature can bring to bear on the workings of man.
In unrelated news, we heard on the news this evening that our little Unalaska Community Library was given a four star rating for the year as reported by the American Library Association, ranking it among the best 256 libraries in America - quite an honor directly related to the 5 great staff members working there, one of whom is fellow blogger Lauri from Life on the Rock - great job Lauri!