Thursday, August 18, 2016
Evidently, the plane I came in on was the only plane to land over the last two days. It has been really foggy. The two people who were coming to the island to walk me through the staffing transition are still stuck in the Anchorage airport.
So, much like my first two days on Grand Turk, I had about eight hours to prep read, and figure out the gift shop before the first cruise ship arrived to Unalaska on Tuesday, I also had to find a person to hire to run the gift shop for three hours.
The ship was a small French luxury cruise ship that sailed out of Nome with 188 guests. They anchored in the bay and were brought to the island on Zodiacs, 10 passengers at a time. They disembarked on the beach below the museum in heavy rain gear.
All the passengers came through the museum and we were reimbursed by the Chamber of Commerce, who invoiced the ship. I did not understand this. On Grand Turk we estimated that we would service 3% of the passengers on any one cruise ship. But here we service 100% of the passengers. It was not chaos on Tuesday, however, the ships that stop in Unalaska are filled with guests who are traveling to extraordinary places, the tickets are expensive, and they are interested in learning.
On Friday, the Crystal Serenity will be stopping. This ship will have 1,700 passengers on board. The ship is taking a month-long voyage between Alaska to New York and will be the first cruise ship to circumnavigate the Arctic Circle.
I have also been attending a Climate Change conference that is being hosted on island all week. There has been a lot of conversation about erosion, ship wrecks, warming, ocean acidification, and other stuff that goes way over my head, If you want the best evidence of global warming and ice melt - next week will be the first circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle by a CRUISE SHIP!