Family and most friends know what's up, but I thought I'd better catch up here because it's been far too long.
Just a few months ago, we were mostly settled in to living in California. But a very unusual situation came up on a Coast Guard ship in Alaska, resulting in the need of a new commanding officer. I'll spare you all of the military procedural details, but in short, my newly-promoted lieutenant commander husband was the right rank with the right experience to take on such a job. And his bosses here in California knew what an opportunity this could be for him. The stars aligned, and as of tomorrow he will be the new commanding officer of a buoy tender in Sitka, Alaska. This is the position we have been working toward ever since his first tour over ten years ago aboard a buoy tender in Kodiak. It's definitely not something you turn down. So, off we go!
|We have been to Sitka once before...on our ferry trip to move to CA! We even went for a little hike while there.|
This move has the shortest turnaround time of any of our moves so far. Thanks to all of the extra hoops to jump through when moving OCONUS (Outside of the Continental United States), we didn't have the official travel orders in hand until about 5 weeks ago. One week later, we had already sent one shipment of basic essentials to our new address, and Mike's brand-new Subaru with only 400 miles on it was dropped off in Richmond, CA to make its way north. Thank goodness we have done this enough times to know how an Alaska move works, because there is quite a bit involved in arranging everything.
Things have actually gone very smoothly so far. We found a new house to rent in Sitka almost immediately. It's a bit small for all of our stuff, but we have learned that you have to compromise when living in Alaska. It meets our major requirements: single family house, fenced yard, pet friendly, energy efficient, and not on an icy-in-winter hill. As a bonus, this one is even on a paved cul-de-sac and has mail delivery right to the house. Those things aren't standard in all AK locations.
The moving company we were assigned this time seems to know their stuff, and even started packing a day earlier than planned. The only downfall of moving to Alaska in the winter, though, is that it can take up to 6 weeks for our shipment to Sitka. Like Kodiak, Sitka is an island, only accessible by boat or plane. From what I hear, there is a barge once a week on which our household goods will need to take a ride to get to us. So, we are sending everything this week, but we don't depart CA until the second week of February. We'll be "glamping" in our house until then. We have a stash of air mattresses and basic kitchenware in our "do not pack" closet. We managed to mix chocolate chip cookies last night in our camp pot with a fork and bake them 6 at a time on our one small baking sheet, so I think we'll survive.
Seeing as I have two more days to "supervise" the packing up of our home, I'll fill you in on the details our upcoming trip to Sitka tomorrow.