By: joealaska , 3:39 AM GMT on January 05, 2012

So RENDA was in town early Tuesday, carrying a decent load of fuel bound for Nome. It stopped in Dutch to FILL ‘ER UP. First it sat in the bay and had an inspection to check whether it was suitable to operate in US waters. It passed. I drove by as it was being pushed into the fuel dock, so I got some quick film to document that.

They were hoping to top off the tanks and depart the same day. But when I arrived at work today, Renda and Healy were still here. Sometime during the middle of the day they were able to leave.

It is a 5 day cruise. 2 days of clear water, 3 days busting ice. Healy will lead the way through the 2 foot thick ice until they reach the greater Nome metro area. There the ice gets thicker, and the water shallower. Everybody expects no problem in transferring the fuel from well offshore.

Renda is no stranger to this area. The vessel is described as a reliable workhorse that gets the job done. It was obvious it had been experiencing some ice prior to its arrival, as the hull was pretty scraped up.

The vessels left today in a nice gale/blizzard/weather mess. Strong winds were blowing the deep snow all around. Hard to tell, but it was probably snowing again also. The wind scours the current drifts into new shapes. And there were periods of real whiteouts. Bad day to drive. I have not seen pavement since I came back to Dutch. The roads are white, and everything else next to the road is white. Throw in some blowing snow and it gets interesting. It is easy to meander off the road, like driving up Haystack. The wind blew a finger from a 7 foot drift across the already narrow road. That finger was just a couple feet high, but it was a real jolt when I blasted right through it. Never saw it.

We provide housing for a couple of our employees. My latest project is trying to exterminate bedbugs which have overridden the place.

There will be a quiz tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

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18. cybersuze
12:54 AM GMT on January 09, 2012
Yo JoA, would just note that the Idaho Statesman also had a blurb on the REnda today, and the NYT had Panama as #1 on its 45 places to visit in 2012 (right, i know, who ever gets to go to 45 different places in one year!)
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 333
17. calpoppy
6:30 PM GMT on January 08, 2012
Kodiak got a foot of snow during this last storm and a record low on January 6th of 3 degrees. Been a colder then normal winter to welcome my newbie Alaskan son and dil!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 90 Comments: 5677
16. Rotty3
3:54 PM GMT on January 08, 2012
funny you said that Arbie - I was feeding this morning in t-shirt and sweatpants. Kinda strange after the -9C/15F Tuesday night where I practically froze some body parts off, here I am at 8-something slopping through dense fog to the pasture in a t-shirt and it's 15C/60F out there. Gonna be a nice day to do fence repairs (putting up new fence after taking the old, shredded pieces off).
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1679
15. Arbie
3:10 PM GMT on January 08, 2012
Thanks to everybody for the links. I enjoyed the pics and stories. Makes me feel very sheltered.

Down here in south east texas we are getting ready for a partly sunny day with a high around 75F. A very nice winter day. Nice day to be out, but I am piled in housework etc. Ah, the life of a working mom. :( Time to open the windows and enjoy a fresh breeze.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1217
14. DHaupt
6:00 AM GMT on January 08, 2012
skagitwalker, I did a little repair on your link to the Renda/Healy story.

This will take everyone to it.

All I can add is...Brrrr.... I hope those yellow hardhats are heated!
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1269
13. Rotty3
2:34 AM GMT on January 08, 2012
hmmm.. says Dutch Harbor -17.8C... sounds a bit off. Joe?
Hope the house is well insulated. We've had a nice 24C today in N. FL and the -9C last Tuesday night is thankfully but a distant memory.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1679
12. skagitwalker
1:26 AM GMT on January 08, 2012
A Seattle broadcast station just posted an interesting series of 10 photos showing the Renda and coast guard cutter plowing through the ice. It looks sooooo cold. Interesting how much ice and snow are on the deck of the Healy. Seems very treacherous. Look at
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11. cholla
8:06 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
Here's a link to the latest on the Russian tanker to Nome:


Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 190
10. joealaska
5:54 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
My device says it got down to 18 F last night, but the wind was really blowing so the wind chill was much lower. 55 mph wind blowing chunks of ice against the house made it hard to sleep.

The last few days have been pretty bad, especially Weds and Fri, with white out conditions.

There was no boat yesterday, which would have been a real mess unloading.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 969 Comments: 1037
9. MissNadia
1:47 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
it is -27 in Nome and not forecast to go above 0 until Thursday. I'm glad I'm not working on the refueling operation!!!
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8. dotmom
11:50 AM GMT on January 07, 2012
I agree Ylee -- it is zero! That is cold.
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7. Ylee
5:01 AM GMT on January 07, 2012
Pretty cold in Dutch now; I don't remember it being much colder than this all of last winter!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23216
6. Rotty3
1:18 PM GMT on January 05, 2012
sounds like fun, UK... not!

As for Zara, well, ummm, she DOES wear breeches, you know lol. Last I checked she was quite a formidable competitor, too.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1679
5. insideuk
12:01 PM GMT on January 05, 2012
Best way to kill bed bugs is to put them in the deep freeze, the colder you can get it the quicker they die. Three days at minus 27f would wipe out all traces whatever stage of life they are in. Stick EVERYTHING BED BUGGY in a freezer van and crank it down to WAY BELOW SENSIBLE.

Not sure how long the employees would last at those temps, but it sure beats all that powder throwing, steam cleaning, smoke filling business that often fails to end the trubba anyway because its so easy to miss bits.

The fireworks did look pretty this year, and the snowy backdrop and clear sky does great things for the clarity of the picture. I strongly suspect the wind noise suddenly stopped when you decided your fingers were in danger of frostbite and you retreated to your car?! Can't blame you, that wind must have been creating some significant wind chill factor on Haystack.

I've had storm after storm here, winds around 60 -70mph in my area but over 100mph nearby. Lots of homes without power, roads and bridges closed as highsiders toppled over. It comes in waves, we get pounded for 20 minutes then a near calm, then pounded again. The rain hits from deeply blackened skies and has been torrential and mostly horizontal, often hammering on the window panes. Really nasty stuff to be out in, not least because every house is putting out massive amounts of bottles and cardboard for the recycling collections and it is ALL NOW AIRBORNE!

So this QUIZ then.

Does it have anything to do with helping you find a way to reattach the front end of a Tahoe?
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1795
4. Arbie
10:59 AM GMT on January 05, 2012
It almost looks to me like the crows are digging into the ground to peck up whatever it is they normally peck off the ground to eat.

I really enjoyed your last three videos, Joe. I am just catching up. I enjoyed your last new years video too, but this year's seems much improved in visual clarity and sound. I loved the way you could hear the crackling in the distance. The panoramas were breath-taking too. I love seeing the photos, but there is nothing like a good video.

Here in SE Texas, after a month of almost constant rain and overcast, we are getting some beautiful sunny-ish weather with highs in the 50s to 70sF. A few crunchy frosty mornings mixed in with the warm muggy ones. Very nice.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1217
3. DHaupt
9:34 AM GMT on January 05, 2012
I got a real charge out of watching those two crows doing flip-flops in the snow. Snow bathing I guess. It might be the best way of getting rid of bed bugs!

Great video of the New Year's Eve fireworks too. I noticed that the wind rattle suddenly stopped. How did you manage that?

A friend went up to Tahoe over New Year to ski -- there is absolutely no snow. Only a few runs have man-made snow which subsequent thawing and freezing has converted to solid glare ice. You are very welcome to send some of your weather to California.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1269
2. dotmom
4:12 AM GMT on January 05, 2012
Undress on your front stoop - don't take those bedbugs in your place!!!
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1. Rotty3
3:47 AM GMT on January 05, 2012
First? Yea :)

uh oh.. quiiiizzzzz...? Did I make the grade? :P

Just do us Floridians a favor, Joe... PLEASE DO NOT leave the freezer door open for a while. We are still needing to defrost!

Bedbugs: they seem to overrun the world lately. I bet if you left the front and back door open, they'd be packing their bags pretty fast.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1679

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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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