Saturday, January 24

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I didn't get to enjoy my weekend by sleeping in, we woke up and went down into town to walk the dogs around 9:30AM. What a beautiful morning, clear out and not a breeze. There was a slight chill in the air and the boardwalks were frosted over. For a Saturday morning there were actually a lot of people out and about! Usually never see anyone. Beautiful red sky sunrise, but I didn't have my camera on me. Saw my father-in-law, he's the Pen-Air rep here in the village, he informed us that the planes should start flying around 11AM.

After walking the dogs, I went down and got the cash ready for the store for the day. The store is open from 12pm-4pm on the weekends, from 10am-4:30pm on the weekdays. I also stayed at work for an hour and got deposits done and ready for the outgoing mail later. I got done and went home about 12:30pm. I saw a couple people with bags walking down towards the plane ramp, must be taking off for meeting or something... wonder if any mail came in? I'll check the Post office later when I walk the dogs, since the PO doesn't open until 1pm.

Went back down into town around 2pm, walked the dogs. Decided we're going to cook steam bath. I love steam bath, I don't think there is a better way to get that clean! There are only 3 steam baths here in town. When I was younger there were at least 5 that I can remember of. My in-laws own one of the baths here in Akutan, so we cook bath there all the time! There was a freighter today so it's not going to be hard to find some wood pallets for bath wood. My hubby will cut the pallets with his chain saw, while I get a fire started and scrub out the steam room with boiling water and bleach (I do this everytime we cook bath, for sanitary purposes!). Steam bath takes about an hour to an hour and half to get ready. There is metal wood burning stove surrounded by volcanic rocks picked up from local beachs, the rocks help create steam - called "throwing water on the rocks." There are water containers - usually something metal - that are set on top of the stove so that we can have hot water. There is a cold water hose located in the wash room, hooked up from inside my in-law's house. There is a smaller cooling room that you have to enter in first. Here is where you put your clothes, towels and what else you might have brought. Don't forget to bring your soap and shampoo. I also suggest bringing a handtowel to sit on in the washroom, and another one to sit on it the cooling room. Inside the wash room, you are supplied with wash tubs to put your water in, cans are used for cups, and there is a water scoop for getting the hot water. There are 2 levels of benches, the lower bench and the top bench. The top bench is the best place to get the most heat! Steam bath can get up to 120F, with out throwing any water on the rocks! The best time to go to bath is when your nails are just long enough to scratch you good! I like to go in and sweat until I can't take the heat anymore, and cool until I feel a bit chilly. Go back in to the wash room and sweat and scratch - This is when you get super clean, by practically exfoliating by scratching "the dirt" right off your skin. You would not believe the crap you can scratch off you skin! Rinse up a bit and go cool again. Go back in for some more heat - never forget to keep feeding the fire so it stays hot- scratch somemore until I know I got every place I can reach, rinse and cool again. I go in my last time and completely wash up, always a plus to have someone there to wash your back! We rinse up the wash room, make sure the water on the stove is filled, and go cool for the last time before calling the next person to go. Most people go singly, while other like myself go with their significant other, sometimes they have like same sex bath where a 3-5 people go at the same time. They used to practice this back in the old days, where they would tell stories and try to beat someone off the top bench by throwing lots of water on the rocks and getting it unbearably hot, you weren't such a strong man if you stepped down early! There is this Unangan tool we use in bath called a "Meenkin", it's local swamp grass wrapped tightly around a wooden handel. It is used to bring more heat to the body by swinging towards your body, kinda like your trying to beat on yourself with it, hitting your back, chest, and legs. For some people the heat alone is enough. Who ever is last will hang the rugs in the cooling room - we wash the rugs in bleach before each bath. I don't care what anyone says, but you'll never be cleaner!

After steam bath we walked my parents dog again, and got ready to go home. I got a call from my brother (who is fishing on the F/V Farwest Leader, you can actually see him in season 3 of the Deadliest Catch), he said they were delivering to the Independence - a Trident owned floating processor that is currently at anchor in our harbor- and he needed some fishing gear (mostly boot socks and sweaters, but I thought it would be nice to throw him in a box of his fav soda (we call it pop around here....) dr.pepper and some carmex. Guess he said they are cod pot fishing right now and won't be doing opilio for another week or so. At least I was able to help him by getting him what he needed... can't be freezing his @ss off out there on the Bering Sea!

We ended up getting 5 flights in today, and they brought over a good amount of mail. I ended up getting some new movies in, so I'm excited we have something to watch this weekend! The weather stayed pretty nice today, mid 30's. Started to sprinkle lightly around 5:20PM, but that rain all froze up by the time it got dark out, so it's once again dangerouly slippery! We'll see what Sunday has in store for us... I didn't get to catch the weather forcast, but NOAA has a free number that we can call to check it. that number is :1-800-472-0391, as soon as you hear the automated guy, press 2543 and you will get our marine forcast for the next couple days.

Pix posted are:

Hanging on the door is a "meenkin. The second pic is of the door from the cooling room into the wash room , the third is of the wash room , the fourth is of the signature wall and the last pic is of the cooling room.Posted pix are of my in-law's steam bath we use - you can see my parents pup in the first pic.

1 comment:

  1. This is turning into an incredible blog and after only 3 posts!!! I posted a link to your site on the Northwestern forum (hope you don't mind) so I think traffic will be oicking up shortly. I know there are folks over there that will be interested. I already see 3 have come over. It's out- Deeeogee is Janice.

    Excellent story of the steambath and great pics.


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