The Ice Queen Cometh

So, yeah, there have been a few times in the last few days when I’ve wondered whose idea it was to get a job at the freakin’ airport. The blizzard conditions have certainly honed my skills in de-icing planes and I have had my share of compliments from our airlines staff about being the best they’ve ever seen. (It’s a hose, people. Point it at the plane. How tough is this? Still, it was nice to hear.)

Scores of flights cancelled at Sea-Tac
Flights into Portland cancelled due to de-icing challenges

The funniest thing that was said yesterday (I got home at 4:30 this morning, but I think it was still yesterday then ~ these 16 hour days get confusing) was when I was asked if it was “safe to fly.” I replied “Well, I’d fly in it, but then, I’m also standing in a bucket 40 feet off the tarmac with howling winds and sideways snow, so I’m not sure I’m your best judge of Good Ideas.” Seriously, it’s not my call to make. I can tell the captain what I see and he can direct me to do more if he wants to, but ultimately, it’s his call. I just do the best job I can up there and make sure the surfaces are clear.

There was one plane I had to de-ice three times. It would go out on the runway, then SeaTac would close the runway for sanding and safety. The plane would sit too long and have to come back for additional de-icing. There comes a point when you’re just quietly saying over and over in your mind “Please don’t come back, please go away and fly and don’t come back, please, please, please.” Of course I want them back if they need it, but I just hope so hard that this time they’ll make it off the ground before the holdover time expires.

These are my clothes strewn about to dry in front of the heater. It looks like this pretty much every night. We haven’t been running the washer much, as the water to the docks has been shut off for a week now due to being below freezing. We’re conserving water pretty hard. Yes, I shower. Laundry, not so much.

These are my hands after 16 hours in my gloves, which get soaked with propylene glycol (this was after I scrubbed them in the shower). They’re “waterproof” gloves. They work fairly well, but obviously, all things have their limits.

Oh yeah, I still live on a boat. Which is covered in snow and freezing rain, but is serving me well. Oh, hey, long time readers ~ I can crank the heat to 75 when I get home every night! WOOT! Heat is something for which I will always be grateful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m pretty sure there are some travelers waiting for me to de-ice their plane so they can get out of this town…

No Responses to “The Ice Queen Cometh”

  1. Anonymous
    December 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    Working hands/people get more respect from me than almost anyone else.Great update/pictures.Your winter is starting to look like ours.Merry Christmas.Tony Roberts,St.Anthony,Newfoundland.

  2. rob
    December 22, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    Wow you are a toughie! Have a great holiday! hope you get the dye off your hands, regards to allRob.

  3. rob
    December 22, 2008 at 12:45 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Cygnus MacLlyr
    December 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Jamie!Shot over to your site via a shared interest in living aboard. while I am not doing so(nor have I ever sailed even!), i harbor (no pun intended) the dream…also have a private pilot’s license– and read that you work @ an airport… :} cool beans. i’ll definitely be viewing some of the other ‘boat blogs’ as a way to live the dream vicariously…Nice to have ‘found’ your site; “see” ya again soon…Cygnus