Adak Logistics

Adak Island Logistics

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When to Go
Getting There
“Car” Rental
Lodging
Food
Bird Seed
Weather
Time Zone and Daylight
Internet Access
Telephone
Walkie-Talkies
Boat Trips
Tours

When to Go
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The best time for Asian strays is during migration, but rarities have been found year-round.

The last two weeks of May are the best in the spring and anytime from mid-August to October can be good in the Fall.

 

Getting There
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Alaska Airlines has two flights per week to Adak from Anchorage. Depending on the time of year, they are either on Wednesday and Saturday or Thursday and Sunday. So check this flight ANC to ADK before anything else.

Check at www.AlaskaAir.com for rates and schedules. (It ain’t cheap!)

It is a three-hour, 1200-mile direct flight on a Boeing 737.

If the Anchorage-to-Adak flight is cancelled, you usually have to wait for the next scheduled flight! In other words, if the Wednesday flight is canceled, you can’t get another flight until Saturday -- although sometimes they schedule a make-up flight the following day if there is urgent cargo.

However, the reverse is not true. If the flight gets to Adak, but, for weather or mechanical problems, is unable to take off, it will leave as soon as conditions permit, whether that be in a few hours or days. Of course, this means missing any connections you might have in Anchorage.

So, have alternate plans prepared in case you get stuck in Anchorage or Adak for a few days. Take along George West’s A Birder’s Guide to Alaska for info on birding spots within driving distance of Anchorage. Or contact the Anchorage Audubon Society for a copy of their Anchorage Birding Map. They also now have a Birding Guide to Anchorage online (it is a work in progress). If you are on any prescription medications, take along extra (I usually take one week's extra).

The flight from Anchorage to Adak currently leaves in the afternoon, so we fly into Anchorage the day before, rent a car, shop for groceries, spend the night, and go birding the next morning (see food below).

 

“Car” Rental
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Vehicles of various types and vintage are available for rent from several sources.

Cynthia (907) 572-9864, Little Michael Lodges & Rentals. Several crew-cab pickup trucks. Usually in pretty good condition.

Aleutian Outfitters - have several trucks. Usually in pretty good condition.

Adak Consolidated Services

Adak Housing Authority at 907-592-4512 or adakhotel@gmail.com.

The "gas station" is open 24/7. Gas was $6.49 per gallon in May 2018. It accepts Credit Cards and is self-service. You insert a credit card, then select a pump (Gas is #2), then press Enter. Once approved, it tells you to go ahead.

 

Lodging
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The lodging consists of townhouses which are a single unit of a four-plex or duplex There are several different styles depending on who you are renting from. Most include two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, solarium, and garage. Very comfortable. The "extras" -- internet, etc. -- depend on who you rent from.

There are several options; Little Michael Lodges & Rentals, Adak Housing Authority, Aleutian Outfitters,and a few other residents.

We recommend Little Michael Lodges & Rentals. They have several houses available and trucks as well.

Aleutian Outfitters. Their lodging is half of a duplex, with all of the amenities above. They can also put you in touch with other rentals if theirs is booked.

Adak Consolidated Services Adak Housing Authority at 907-592-4512 or adakhotel@gmail.com for lodging and vehicles. Telephone is best, as their response to email is problematic.

AirBNB is now available. Or contact steven@adak-hotel.com


Food
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There are "restaurants" and a grocery store. These restaurants come and go, so you will have to wait till you get there to figure out the dining opportunities. Currently (2018) neither restaurant is open every day (and their schedules are not written in stone), so you will definitely need to bring some food with you (unless you are with a tour group). Everything is expensive out there. A hamburger is $11 (but you get fries!).

The grocery store hours vary from season to season, so check on it before you arrive. They are usually NOT open on flight days, so you can't buy food the day you arrive (but as I said, their days and hours vary...)! Their inventory varies with the cargo flights from Anchorage – mostly non-perishables.

Depending where you are staying, you can ship non-perishables ahead of time. Talk to your host about that and the best way to do it. Cargo shipments, including US mail, can be iffy, so ship well in advance of your trip.

Plan to bring perishables (eggs, butter, bread, fruit, veggies) with you.

 

Weather
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Adak is only about 175 miles farther north than Vancouver, BC. Adak is about 51 degrees north, Vancouver is 49. Because of the moderating influence of the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean, the temperature range on the island ranges from the 20s in the winter to the 60s in the summer. In May, the temperatures are in the 40s. In September in the 50s. Also, the temperature range on any given day is usually only five to ten degrees. So if it is 38 F in the morning, it may only get up to 45 F in the afternoon.

Adak means “Birthplace of the Winds.” The good news about that is bugs are not a problem. The bad news is that dickey birds can be hard to find in those conditions. Be prepared for wind and rain. We have generally had rain on at least half the days we have been there, but rarely constant rain.

 

Bird Seed
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If you are bringing (or shipping) bird seed, please do not get the kind with safflower seeds. The birds out here don’t eat them!

I order F.M. Brown's Bird Lovers Blend, 20-Pound, No Waste Blend through Amazon. With Amazon Prime, its free shipping to Adak!

 

Time Zone and Daylight
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The time zone in Adak is the similar to Hawaii, except they do recognize Daylight Savings Time. So it is -9 GMT.
In May, the sun comes up between 6 and 7 am and sets between 10 and 11 pm. So you have about 16 hours of daylight.
In September, the sun comes up between 8 and 9 am and sets between 8 and 9 pm. So you have about 12 hours of daylight.

 

Internet Access
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Few of the lodging options offer internet access. Little Michael Lodge is one that does. However, it is not real fast and is worthless for downloading or streaming videos – just so you know...

But you can view websites, do your email, etc. with little problem (in very high winds, the satelite dish shakes so badly that access can be interrupted.

 

Telephone
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There is ATT and GCI cell phone service available. It will not work with other cell phones. And ATT "Go Phones" do not work out there!

 

Walkie-Talkies
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It is STRONGLY recommended that you take a set of walkie-talkies (such as the Motorola Talkabout MT352) so that you can communicate with other birders on the island or with other members in your group when you get spread out.

 

Boat Trips
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The only boat trip out of Adak (to get Whiskered Auklet, etc.) is run by Zugunruhe Birding Tours.

 

Tours
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We do our trips on our own, but if you want a tour, we recommend Wilderness Birding Adventures, High Lonesome and Zugunruhe Birding Tours.

Getting someone to go with you to share the expenses can cut the lodging costs in half or more.