Not much exciting has happened since my last post. I thought I was getting a cold this morning, but a good shower and a lot of water seems to be keeping it at bay. I thought I'd type a quick post before I go to bed about some of the details of the town itself. We have:
- Two lane bowling alley
- Fitness room
- Fire Station
- 3 bars - Gallagher's, Southern Exposure, and the Coffee House (just closed for repairs)
- 2 Wells Fargo ATMs (I wonder who fills it?)
- A diesel power plant that provides all of the station power
- A water de-salinization plant for fresh water
- A water treatment plant (they used to just pump it into the sound until just recently)
- An indoor basketball, volleyball, dodgeball court
- A church (The Chapel of the Snows)
- A bunch of dorms
- A radio station (Ice Radio 104.5)
I'm not sure what the maximum station capacity is, but I believe that it is about 1200 people or so. That is a lot of people sharing an 8Mb Internet connection (it was 3Mb until a few weeks ago). That is basically 3 cable modems for over 1000 people, their phone calls, data upload to the US, and business operations. A lot of people complain, I guess, but I think the fact that they have hot showers and a couple of ATMs makes it easy to forget where they are. I was told that the old 3Mb connection (equal to about ONE cable modem) cost about $160,000 per month. I think we figured it out to be about $3.70/minute. That is almost $2 million dollars a year for Internet access. Ouch! There are a lot of things about this place that seem outrageous, but you have to remember the extreme location. It is easy to forget where we are when you are sitting the bar watching the game, drinking a beer, and eating a cheeseburger. I don't know if I've said this already, but this place is like a cross between a mining town and a college campus. The fuel ship is supposed to be showing up on Thursday. Hopefully I'll be able to get pictures of it arriving.
I uploaded some more pictures. I included some of my dorm room, our hike up Ob Hill, and my helicopter flight to Black Island. I also chopped the pictures up into albums to hopefully make it easier to figure out what is new. Enjoy and keep the feedback coming! Email me questions if you want details on something.