Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alaska Strikes Back (And This Time, It's Personal!!)

Two nights ago, it was my turn to go out to visit Time Bandit. The weather had dropped from 60 degrees to 40 degrees with some rain. To get out to Time Bandit, we have to take an open, uncovered skiff. So that meant one thing: layers. I put on an undershirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a hoodie, and my waterproof neon-green jacket. On the way to the skiff, we stopped at the store in town to buy goggles – there was only one pair left for me: the pink ones. So there I was, wearing bright orange waterproof overalls, a neon green jacket, and pink goggles. I looked like a box of Pastel Crayola Crayons.

So six of us (four of us were from the show) board this tiny skiff, out to make the 10-15 mile journey out to Time Bandit.
Our skiff - Carnival Cruise Lines, beware!!

Because of the close quarters in the small boat, I had my back to the front, so I had no idea what was coming. The ride was beyond bumpy – the weather had made the sea into a choppy mess. I could feel my back getting sprayed by the ocean and by the pounding rain. Luckily, my jacket and hood kept me warm and covered. But about halfway there, the massive bumps had sped up the process of my bladder and churned up dinner - I realized I had to go to the bathroom. Badly. And hitting the bumpy sea without being able to watch it, made it all the worse. I did think at one point that I may actually have to either mess myself or peel off all my layers and unload in the sea.

Luckily, I was able to keep myself from letting go in front of my crew. But as soon as we got to the Time Bandit, I made a B-line to the bathroom. Luckily, the bathroom was nice and clean, and everything went well…until I flushed. Yup, that’s right, I clogged the Time Bandit’s bathroom. My God, was I freaking out – would the crew turn the camera on me if they found out? Would I be thrown overboard? Mocked mercilessly? I plunged and I plunged and I plunged some more. After about ten minutes, no luck. I peeked my head out, and luckily, their greenhorn (or newest crew member) came walking by. I asked him for his help and within 30 seconds, he had that toilet working like it was never clogged. I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Yesterday was fairly uneventful, except for the fact that I picked up a camera and shot for the first time in years. My camera skills are weak, my tech savvy is poor, and I get very self-conscious about these things. But it was needed, so I picked up the camera and shot some material. Nothing exciting – just a few interviews we needed to get. I capped the evening off by losing $20 in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em.

I’m glad I had the time with the camera yesterday, because today, I was pressed into further duty: I was going to shoot some aerials and other material in a small prop plane. The fisherman on some of the boats use planes as spotters to get the big schools of fish. So that’s going to be a big part of our show. Luckily, we’re staying at a place where all of the pilots are staying, and we’ve all befriended each other.

So one of the pilots, Terry, offered to take me up in the sky to shoot some stuff. It was awesome. The plane is a four-seater, but really shouldn’t fit more than two. I was shooting the amazing landscape (and taking it all in as I shot), looking for large schools of fish in the water, following a few boats, and watching Terry show one of the boats he works with where to capture a massive school of fish. He also made an air drop off – he opened his window and threw a package out to the boat below him. Pretty cold when he opened it. The whole ride was amazing – an experience I never thought I’d have. The only problem was that when he was directing his boat to catch the school of fish, he kept flying in very tight, left turns. I got pretty dizzy, and hours later, I’m still feeling a bit loopy.

"I guarantee that I'm better than 40% of the shooters on youtube!!"
Also, I’ve made a new friend. I’ve dubbed him Bandit, or Bandito.
I think he can read my mind!

Now that I'm married, this is the only physical contact that is allowed!

On a separate note - the airport is across the street. Sometimes, the pilots just drive their plane over to drop off their stuff and park in the driveway. It never gets old seeing a plane in the driveway.

You can go by land, sea, or air...


Heather said...

OMG! I'm so jealous of the dog!

Erin said...

Somehow I'm not too surprised you clogged the toilet on the boat. And, little Bandit must come back to LA with you.

PVision said...

That's an impressive Grumper!

Dave said...

Freaking love that story! It has given me much joy the past few days as I picture in my mind, exactly how it all went down.

I think you should repay the greenhorn who unclogged the crapper by helping him prepare bait. Maybe cut off some fish heads or something?

Are there any pictures of you in the pink goggles?