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Alaskan Daylight/Darkness
Last Post 10 Feb 2011 06:02 AM by Old Guard2. 7 Replies.
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bikesnotscottUser is Offline
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09 Feb 2011 07:30 PM
    I am just curious how difficult it was for those of you who have been stationed in AK to adjust to the six months of daylight/night. I am hoping to get stationed in Alaska and can imagine six months of darkness can start to weigh on you after a while.
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    09 Feb 2011 08:31 PM
    From my initial experience it was horrible! I moved there at 19, just married, first time EVER away from home and it was December! I was not going to be home for Christmas with my family and it was dark and cold and rainy and I got a job literally before I saw my house! The woman that ran the Avis car rental counter was a Master Chief's wife, she hired me while we were still in the airport!!! I didn't even have my luggage, it went to St Mary's without me. I was washing cars in the winter, in Alaska, in the dark, away from my mom, dad, aunt, uncles... oh it was miserable!!!!!!

    Then it happened... Spring!!!! Oh my God! I had never been any place so amazing in all my life. Honestly, I have yet to find anyplace I have lived that could compare. The grass/fields were the greenest I had ever seen, the skies went on for what seemed like forever, the sun was brilliant in color and intensity! We fished until 1 or 2 in the morning. We camped, we hiked, we hunted... When winter rolled back around and the darkness hit. It wasn't nearly as bad. I had a year under my belt being away from home, I got a better job, I had a ton of friends, I was in 3 bowling leagues... Winter was not that difficult to deal with at all. As a matter of fact it seemed rather silly that I was so miserable just a few short months earlier!

    It is all what you make it!! Plain & simple. If you think it is miserable, you will be miserable. If you think it is bearable and can enjoy what even the darkness brings... you'll manage just fine. Now I do not suffer from that light deprivation depression stuff, so it wasn't bad for me. My father on the other hand sinks into horrible depression every winter. He is only just now snapping out of this winter. Truth be told, if NJ gets hit with another bad snow storm... I honestly expect a call from my mom saying she had him committed. He gets really bad, he would never have adjusted to winter in Alaska. Just some food for thought on that one.
    USCGC Midgett
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    09 Feb 2011 08:33 PM
    Oh and we did stay for 5 years and went back for another 4 as a couple. Jim has gone back for 3 additional tours.
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    09 Feb 2011 08:52 PM
    Thanks Macie!

    I'm a pretty upbeat person as it is and always make the best of a bad situation so I would like to believe it wouldn't be an issue. If I get stationed there right out of BC I'll be showing up in mid April, just in time for spring! I am a huge outdoors enthusiast and am really into photography, Alaska just seems to be the place for me.
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    09 Feb 2011 09:10 PM
    Here is a conversation I just had with my son on Skype chat. He's stationed in Kodiak, AK. I asked him your question and this is what he said.

    Him: it doesn't take long
    Him: and you don't have 6 months of daylight and sunlight
    Him: you only get that reeaaallllyyy far north
    Me: explain what its like now, in the winter.
    Him: well it's not too bad now
    Him: the sun comes up at like 9 and goes down around 5:30
    Me: and how abt 6 months from now?
    Him: well it's not as bad as it was a month ago
    Him: it's getting better
    Him: but in the summer it comes up at like 5:30 and goes down around 10 at night
    Him: maybe 11 at night

    Ha! He's not a man of many words, and I told him to be 'wordy' and descriptive. But that's his take on living in AK. He seems to like it. When you live in Alaska and can't 'go outside and play', you find other things to do. Like Old Guard went bowling. For my son it's Skyping w/his girlfriend, building computers, helping people with theirs, sleeping.... in that order! And when it's sunny and warmer, he Skypes w/his girlfriend, builds Computers, helps others with theirs, sleeps, mountain bikes, scuba dives and sleeps..... in that order... He has yet to go hunting, fishing or bowling and he's been there nearly a year.

    Proud Coastie Mom
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    09 Feb 2011 09:12 PM
    Oh yeah, he's also into photography. Man, the pictures I've seen! Breathtaking, really! And he arrived there in mid April, just in time for spring.
    Proud Coastie Mom
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    09 Feb 2011 10:40 PM
    Thanks so much for asking your son for me, I wasn't sure how far north it was where you get the 6 months light/6 months dark.

    I guess the only thing left to do now is take up bowling!
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    10 Feb 2011 06:02 AM
    I highly recommend it! (Bowling) LOL In Valdez there was no bowling alley... so I played darts. Jimmy shot pool. We had our winter outlets that we needed to get out and have fun.

    I remember my mom coming to visit... 22 years ago today as a matter of fact when Colin was born on Kodiak! Well, we didn't get TV from Anchorage, cable brought us TV from Denver. Yeah, I never understood that either. Anyway... the sun would go down by 3ish, the kids came off school buses in the dark, so it was pretty early. "Prime Time" shows would actually start at 5pm. The "10 o'clock" news came on at 8. Johnny Carson came on at 8:30. Now mind you, the sun had been down for 4 or 5 hours already. Carson would come on, my mom yawned and talked about getting ready for bed. Ummmmm, ma, it's 8:30. That was the hard thing to get used to. She came back to Alaska again, exactly 5 years later for Colin's 5th birthday. (Funny how I remember that, huh!) She still had the same issue and had to keep looking at the clock. LOL
    USCGC Midgett
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