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Start ::  Special Ops Division ::  Round the World Diary ::  Yoland's DHC6 around the World
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Yoland's DHC6 around the World

Yoland Posted: 06.01.2009, 09:29


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[b]I have decided to have a go for the Round the World Trip (RTW) that I planned for the bush and VFR ops division.[/b]
[b][color=red]In relation to this adventure I have opened a new forum (this one!) called “Round the World Diary”.
It is open to all SPA pilots who undertake this fantastic journey, either following the bush ops programmed schedule or on their own route, with small aircraft, heavy jet or vintage plane.
Please feel free to organize your own RTW and to narrate your real or virtual adventures all along the way. It is very easy: you open your own thread!
For me it is going to be, for example “Yoland DHC6 RTW”... that’s it, and you tell your own story![/color][/b]
[b]This being said let me begin my own chronicle with my first leg from Miami – Florida (KMIA) to Patterson Island – Georgia (GA21).
I do not have much to say about the flight itself, rather easy with fair weather, calm wind and good visibility. One only has to be careful, when landing on GA21, to avoid the tip of the trees near the beginning of the airstrip. But with the DHC6, and full flap, it is not to difficult to be slow enough to fly over the trees and land smoothly.

So, I started my RTW in Miami.
I have personally been quite a few times in Miami Beach... a very nice tourist trap, indeed. But my most vivid souvenir dates back from January 1963. I was then just twenty years old and coming from New York City for a two weeks holiday... travelling by bus: the legendary Greyhound line.
When trying to find a Hotel, I realised that I could not really afford it for two weeks! Rambling on the beach, I met a guy named Karl who was working as a swimming pool attendant for one of these distinctive “art-deco” hotels: the “Atlantic Tower”, not far from the famous “Eden Rock”. I told him that I was looking for a very cheap accommodation. Instead of giving me the address of one of these weird “cockroaches’ Palace” at two dollars a night, he offered me to share, for free, his small cabin on the beach... and it was not a gay ambush!
Thanks to Karl, I will always remember these extraordinary two weeks in Miami... Sea, sex and sun!
The guy had really countless girlfriends available among the hotel’s guests and furthermore, he knew all the tricks to survive like millionaires without spending a single cent! For instance, every morning we walked to the Eden Rock Palace to have a gargantuan breakfast. It was a very big hotel with hundreds of guests. We just walked around the reception to check which keys were still on the “board”. Then, remembering the room number of our choice, we went to the restaurant like ordinary guests and ordered a gigantic breakfast, asking the waiter to put it on our room number account... not very honest, but certainly very efficient! Eggs, sausages, bacon, fried potatoes, porridge, fruits, cereals, ham, toasts, rolls, butter, marmalade, tea, coffee, milk, orange juice, etc. This was our only consistent meal for the day... but a real treat!
I really had a great time in Miami and I will always remember this very good friend (we met again on various occasions) who sadly got killed in a stupid car accident in 1968.

edited by: Yoland, Jan 06, 2009 - 11:45 PM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 06.01.2009, 11:44


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This second leg over a flat monotonous landscape, from Patterson Island, Georgia, to Bunkie, in Louisiana (right in the heart of the Cajun country), was quite long
The flight was not too difficult despite a very strong side wind up to 35 knots and a rather cloudy sky with limited visibility on some sections. But I landed safe!

Post card from Bunkie – Louisiana

What is “Cajun”?
Experiencing the Cajun culture is like no other. The Acadians of today are a thrifty, hard-working, fun-loving, devout religious folk. They work and play with equal enthusiasm.
The word Cajun began in 19th century Acadie (now Nova Scotia) when the Acadians began to arrive. The French of noble ancestry would say, "les Acadiens", while some referred to the Acadians as, "le 'Cadiens", dropping the "A". Later came the Americans who could not pronounce "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so the word, "Cajun" was born.
The Cajun's pleasure-loving nature expresses itself in the community festivals, dancing and food that are integral parts of bayou life. Cajuns are known for their "joie de vivre" (joy of living), and to add excitement to their food they experiment with herbs, spices and ingredients to create some of the most flavourful dishes that people throughout North America now enjoy.
One of the traditional favourite Cajun pastimes is an old- fashioned crawfish boil. When the sacred "mud bugs" or "crawdads" go into the pot a breath of excitement fills the air. Before the great feast of the boiled crawfish, potatoes, onions and corn, youngsters make a mad dash for the crawfish tub poking the live crawfish with sticks while other family members participate in crawfish races.
Boiling crawfish is not the only way to enjoy the crustaceans. When crawfish go into the pot a number of delicious dishes result because there are almost as many ways to cook crawfish as there are swamps, ponds and ditches in which to catch them. Crawfish are served up in gumbo, bisque, étouffée, jambalaya, pies or patties. When the Cajuns aren't eating crawfish, they enjoy other world famous cuisine of Louisiana such as oysters, shrimp, boudin, pralines, gumbo and red beans and rice.
What better way to experience Cajun food than at a festival? Any time is festival time in Cajun Country. Towns and villages throughout Acadiana celebrate every season with their special blend of music, food and the colourful Cajun heritage. Most festivals feature live music of all sorts, contests, native crafts and food and, of course, dancing.
Cajun music is also distinctive. It can be lively or melancholy, and sometimes both at the same time. The main reason why many attend festivals is for the unique Cajun music. Cajun music, once deemed as "nothing but chank-a-chank" has infiltrated radio, television and classrooms and is becoming world famous for its unique sounds of instruments like accordions, fiddles and triangles.
One of the largest festivals is the world-famous Mardi Gras. Celebrate an old-fashioned Mardi Gras at the Courir du Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras Run), one of the local traditions that makes Mardi Gras in Cajun Country truly unique. The spectacle celebrated in small towns and villages in Acadiana is a favourite of visitors interested in off-the-beaten-path experiences. With its roots firmly in the medieval tradition of ceremonial begging, bands of masked and costumed horseback and wagon riders led by the unmasked "Le Captaine" roam the countryside "begging for ingredients for their community gumbo. The day's festivities end with a fais-do-do and, of course, lots of savory gumbo.
In Cajun Country, a week hardly goes by without chants of praise to crawfish, rice, alligators, cotton, boudin, yams, gumbo and andouille, all the necessities of bayou life. Within the triangle of Acadiana's 22 parishes, one experience the "joie de vivre" of the Cajun lifestyle. Whether in food, music or fun, the Cajun tradition continues to live on in the hearts of Cajuns and visitors alike.

[b]Recipe, Ragin Cajun Jambalaya[/b]


16 ounces smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 ½ cups long grain white rice, uncooked
2 cans (10 ounce each) Ro-Tel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, undrained
2 cans (14.5 ounce each) chicken broth
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
Cook sausage, shrimps and chicken in large skillet over medium-high heat until chicken strips are no longer pink in centres and juices run clear, stirring frequently. (Best to spray pan with non-stick spray before starting.) Remove from saucepan; cover to keep warm. Add onions and garlic to same saucepan; cook 3 minutes or until onions are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.
Add rice to same saucepan; cook 5 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add sausage mixture and onion mixture; mix well. Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, the broth and the tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Cover saucepan with lid; reduce heat to low.
Simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir before serving.

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 07.01.2009, 10:04


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[b]During all this 3rd leg, from 2R6 ro 69TS, the weather was clear, almost no cloud, but a very strong wind, up to 40 knots varying from front to right side... some strong turbulence too. And the landing on a very short strip was quite “interesting”... but safe![/b]


[b]Postcard from Killeen (Texas)
A brief History of Killeen Base; Now West Fort Hood[/b]

Foreword: Fort Hood had a role in atomic weapons storage. This story is compiled from several published previous stories.


In 1948 a mysterious military post became a quiet part of the Killeen-Copperas Cove area economy that was known as Site Baker or Killeen Base. This project originally named "project 76" by the War Department used Black & Veatch Consulting engineers to do the initial plans and drawings. After 3 revisions to the plans, approval by the War Department was granted.
The actual construction of Killeen base began in the spring of 1947. Miners were employed to dig tunnels in to the mountainside. These workers from coal mining parts of the country, neither knew what the tunnels were to be used for, nor did not know where they were doing the construction.
The 7,000 acre base surrounded on three sides by then Camp Hood had the tunnels carved out of solid rock, heavily reinforced with concrete, and sealed off with heavy steel doors.
The first concrete was poured in the fall of 1947. The construction of the tunnels, for ultra secret reasons, was not without its problems.
According to a retired construction contractor that worked on the project, the major problem encountered during construction was water gushing from underground.
The tunnel corridors are each 20 feet wide with 30 foot ceilings that penetrate to a depth of 80 plus feet below the mountain top.
Interspersed throughout the complex are rooms of various sizes that are still equipped with steel rails for overhead cranes.
Killeen Base was one of seven atomic weapons storage facilities located in five states, and the only one operated by the U.S. Army. Officially, Killeen Base was a Department of Defence Classified Ordinance Storage Facility, manned by Army personnel under the direction of the Defence Atomic Support Agency with Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Security was extremely tight at the base producing many stories and rumours about what went on inside. Reportedly a couple of deer hunters who accidentally strayed onto the reservation were picked up by guards, whisked away to headquarters, and held incommunicado until an investigation showed they were not communist spies.

The Santa-Fe railroad switched cars on a mile long spur only under the cover of darkness. Heavily armed guards took over the train from switchmen at the railhead.
There were reports from people in the surrounding communities of planes disappearing with their mysterious cargo, inside an underground cavern.
The base was so ringed with security forces that any hour of the day or night those guards might pop up from the ground — like hidden targets to challenge man or beast. The concrete watch towers are still intact along the original inner parameter.

Among the most bizarre stories that flourished in the civilian communities was that Killeen Base had a giant underground area that airplanes could land. And there's the story of the underground submarine refuelling base, with an underground waterway to the Gulf of Mexico.
At the same time Killeen Base was being constructed, the Air Force began building an airfield adjacent to Killeen Base in support of the Defence Atomic Support Agency. The aviation facilities located on 12,000 acres included a 10,000 by 200 foot hard surface runway built to handle classes of military aircraft including the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress; a total underground fuel storage area for more than one million gallons, and 1,186,000 square feet of aircraft parking ramp.

Designated Robert Gray Air force Base after Robert Manning Gray , a native son of Killeen the base was built in four phases, with the last phase of the project completed in 1972, well after the Army took control.


In 1960 Killeen Base employed Approximately 800 personnel, including civilians, but not including Gray Air force Base.
In December 1960 the Air force announced cutbacks in personnel at Gray by 350 men. Leaving 71 military personnel to man the airfield. It was June 1963 when the Air force turned over complete control of the base to the Army.
Early in 1969 it was announced by the Department of Defence that operations at Killeen Base would be closed, and the base would be deactivated no later than December 31, 1969.
This action was part of a DOD economy measure. Gray Army Airfield was not to be affected by the deactivation.
Requests were made to Washington officials to re study the closing of Killeen Base, but the process continued on schedule. Fort Hood took over administrative control of housing and fire fighting facilities at Killeen Base.

In August of 1969 rumours in the adjacent communities circulated that some kind of test centre would be moving to Killeen Base, thereby keeping the post active.
By the end of August the rumours were confirmed that HQ (MASSTERS) Mobile Army Sensor System Test and Evaluation Review System would indeed be the new tenant. Their mission would be to test night visual devices and target acquisition equipment.
The totally new organization had top priority on almost everything — from supplies to personnel.
The only assault helicopter company in the U.S. at that time (The 181st Assault Helicopter Company) had the sole mission of supporting project MASSTERS.

Residents from Belton to Lampasas experienced more than one year of "UFO sightings" with strange lights at night.
For the testers it was reverse schedules — sleeping during the day and flying at night. In addition it was announced that Killeen Base would be known as West Ft. Hood and that it would be home of associated troop’s elements and other III Corps units. On the day following the announcement the super secret military installation became an open post...

edited by: Yoland, Jan 08, 2009 - 01:28 AM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 07.01.2009, 18:26


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For this 4th leg, from 69TS to 31KS, I still had fair sunny weather, but again with a very strong side wind (20 to 40 knots). It was particularly tricky for the landing, as the airstrip was just exactly perpendicular to the wind direction...

Now, my postcard from Hutchinson, Kansas USA.

Hutchinson is the largest city and county seat of Reno County, Kansas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 40,787. Hutchinson's nickname is The Salt City.

On January 17, 2001, 143 million cubic feet (4,000,000 m3) of compressed natural gas leaked from the nearby Yaggy storage field. It sank underground, and then rose to the surface through old brine, or salt wells making around 15 gas blowholes. An explosion in the downtown area at 10:45 a.m. destroyed 2 businesses and damaged 26 others. An explosion the next day in a mobile-home park took the lives of two people. The Kansas National Guard was called in to help evacuate parts of the city because of the gas leaks, and a team of specialists looked over the entire city for leaks after the event. These events were broadcast on nationally televised news stations across the country.


Today, one of the main attraction of Hutchinson is certainly the Kansas *COSMOSPHERE” and Space Centre.
What is now one of the world’s premier space museums was once the dream of a Hutchinson civic leader, Patricia Brooks Carey. Her vision to create one of the first public planetariums in the central United States had humble beginnings. In 1962, the Hutchinson Planetarium opened inside the Poultry Building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds with a used star projector and rented folding chairs.
Four years later, the Hutchinson Planetarium relocated to the campus of Hutchinson Community College, in what today houses Dr. Goddard’s Lab.
In 1976, Carey and the Hutchinson Planetarium’s board of directors began planning to significantly expand the facility. They sought the advice of former employee Max Ary, who had worked for the planetarium while going to college. Ary was the director of Ft. Worth’s Noble Planetarium at the time and happened to be serving on a Smithsonian committee that placed tens of thousands of space artefacts in museums after the Apollo program concluded.
So the “Cosmosphere” was in the right place at the right time.


Launched as the “Kansas Cosmosphere and Discover Centre” in 1980, the new facility featured permanent exhibit galleries in the Hall of Space Museum, one of the first OMNIMAX theatre in the world ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAX[/url]) and the planetarium that started it all.
In 1997, the facility was further renovated and expanded to its present size, 105,000 square feet, nearly tripling the area devoted to the Hall of Space Museum. Today the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Centre is one of the most comprehensive space museums in the world and one of the leading educational tourist attractions in the United States.

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jetjerry Posted: 08.01.2009, 10:08


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It looks like you are having a good time with your "around the world" adventure.

I used to fly into Hutchinson many years ago...with piston machines.


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Yoland Posted: 08.01.2009, 20:03


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RTW leg 5...
From 31KS to UT09 (Green River, UTAH) was an interesting flight with a very limited visibility for a VFR flight, and once again a rather strong side wind all the way to destination. The Tavaputs Ranch airstrip can be very difficult in windy conditions, especially because the high trees surrounding the airfield. But with full flaps and enough power, the DHC6 is a very safe aircraft even in difficult conditions.

[b]Postcard from Tavaputs – Green River.[/b]


If you want to experience the Old West - life on a real working ranch, spend a few days at the Tavaputs Ranch in eastern Utah.
5000 feet above Desolation Canyon on the Tavaputs Plateau, this ranch is an alpine jewel. Elevations from 8,500 to nearly 10,000 feet above sea level mean crisp, clean air, views of literally hundreds of miles across Desolation Canyon and the Green River, pine and aspen groves.
Your hosts, Butch and Jeannie Jensen will treat you to fabulous meals, beautiful horseback rides and scenic tours of the mountain.
Just fifty miles east of Price, Utah, the ranch feels a million miles from civilization without compromising any creature comforts.

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Yoland Posted: 09.01.2009, 08:22


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The RTW 6 the leg from UT09 to 19OR, Maupin Oregon, allowed me to fly over some beautiful mountainous areas. Rather high altitude is recommended in this region. I encountered strong wind again but with a rather sunny weather. From the beginning of my trip around the World, it seems that the front wind has decided to slow down my journey...

Postcard from Maupin


In 1872 Commodore Perry Maupin, son of a rugged Kentuckian and figure of note, Howard Maupin, established a ferry across the Deschutes River above the large island (close to the Oasis Resort camping area). Mrs. W.H. Staats acquired the town site from her brother and together with her husband set about preparation of a town for the railroads that were to be built up the Deschutes Canyon. Staats named the town site Maupin’s Ferry, but postal authorities cut off the last word. Since 1909, the town has been called Maupin.
Maupin is located on both sides of the Deschutes River right on Highway 197. Maupin has a Grade School, Junior High, and High School in the South Wasco School District. A small town lifestyle will greet you anywhere you go in Maupin. The town offers most services you need to enjoy your stay in the


Maupin Quick Facts
Population: 411
Elevation: 800-1600 feet
Climate: Warm, dry summers with a max daytime temp of 80-115 degrees.
Industries: Log Home Mill, and multiple tourist services

The Maupin area offers a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the large cities. A small town pace in an area filled with unspoiled desert beauty will set a visit in the right frame of mind. Recognized for superb white water excitement and world-class wild trout and steelhead fishing, Maupin is a real headquarters for outdoor recreation.


One will find many trout fishermen have found the secret in April. Then whitewater fills the middle of the summer, and steelhead fishermen get the river to themselves until the middle of November. This leaves a couple of the area’s best secrets, early spring and late fall.
With over 300 days of sunshine a year there is plenty of nice weather for any visit to the area. Maupin has such consistently good weather that it doesn’t even have a weather station. The closest weather station is 45 miles North in The Dalles, but that station is included just to give you an approximation of how nice it is in Maupin today. Since The Dalles is in the Columbia River Gorge they get way more rain and wind than Maupin. So use this as a comparison, and know it is much nicer in Maupin.

edited by: Yoland, Jan 09, 2009 - 03:23 PM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 09.01.2009, 09:52


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RTW 7th Leg was a very nice good weather flight over magnificent mountainous landscape. And I had a great pleasure to meet the Pacific Ocean along the way... No technical or weather problem during this section, and a good airstrip ro land on!

Postcard from Woss...

Woss, British Columbia, commonly known as Woss Lake, is a small west coast village in the Nimpkish Valley, located 75 km (47 mi) south east of Port McNeill, and 128 km (80 mi) north of Campbell River on Highway 19, in northern Vancouver Island. The estimated population of Woss and the Nimpkish Valley is 400 people.
Woss is part of the Regional District of Mount Waddington, which also includes Alert Bay, Port Alice, Port McNeill, Hyde Creek, Coal Harbour, Holberg, Malcolm Island, Quatsino and Port Hardy.


Woss has regular telephone service, but no cellular phone services.
Woss has one elementary school, Woss Lake Elementary School, 11 students grades K-7.


Up until the late 1960s Woss was accessible only by rail from Beaver Cove. During this time period most of the loggers were housed in bunkhouses heated with wood fired steam. One of the original steam fired locomotives is currently used as a working tourist attraction.
Nearby Woss Lake is the main summer recreational playground for Woss residents and the original community campground at the lake is now a provincial park.


Tage Wickstrom, who was the school principal until his death in 1986, built the only 440 dirt oval track and field on the north island at his school in Woss. For many years Woss Lake School hosted all of the track and field competitions for School District #85 which included communities from Woss to Port Hardy. The track and field are now know as the "Tage Wickstrom Track and Field" in honour of the educator who built them.

edited by: Yoland, Jan 19, 2009 - 04:04 PM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 13.01.2009, 11:42


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RTW 8th leg from Woss to Stewart, British Columbia. This was surely a very difficult flight with strong side and front wind up to 43 knots, rain and snow, and a lot of dense clouds. It was really “limit” for a VFR flight! Somewhat better for the last few miles allowed me to land safely...


Postcard from Stewart:

Stewart's setting can only be described in superlatives, combining an oceanfront location with alpine scenery, glaciers, ice fields, and spectacular waterfalls. This setting and the outdoor recreation opportunities it offers, contribute in an important way to the communities lifestyles. The area offers, fresh and saltwater fishing, boating, hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and numerous other activities.
Stewart's colorful history has been dictated by the fortunes of the mining industry. The first exploration in the area took place in the late 1890's and the town site was named in 1905. An estimated 10,000 people resided in the area n the early 1900's, attracted by the prospects of gold; yet during World War I the population was reduced to less than twenty. Stewart was founded by two Scottish brothers, John and Robert Stewart.
Major mines such as Premier Gold, Big Missouri and Granduc Copper have been established in the Stewart area. These projects created the impetus for population increases and attracted a skilled work force to the community. Mining is also primarily responsible for the development of support services such as heavy duty mechanics, welding shops, and transportation-related businesses, which provide service to all the basic resource industries. Today employment in the community is much more broadly-based and includes opportunities in transportation, mining, logging, retail and hospitality sector, and public administration.


As a contact zone between the Coast Range Batholith and sedimentary formations to the east, the Stewart area is highly mineralized and contains proven reserves of a wide range of precious and base metals including gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc

edited by: Yoland, Jan 19, 2009 - 04:04 PM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 19.01.2009, 09:10


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For this 9th leg from Stewart at the Canada / US border to Tok (PATJ) I had a clear fair weather all the way without too much wind. Nice conditions... but it is becoming dark very early in this part on the World... especially when one has to land on a smal airstrip without lights. Therefore it is better to take-off in the dark to be able to land with daylight...

Postcard from TOK, Alaska

There have been Athabascan settlements in the region of what is now Tok (which is pronounced with a long o, like "toke") for many centuries


The town at the present location of Tok, Alaska began in 1942 as an Alaska Road Commission camp used for construction and maintenance of the Alaska Highway. So much money was spent in the camp's construction and maintenance that it earned the name "Million Dollar Camp" by those working on the highway.
In 1947 the first school was opened, and in 1958 a larger school was built to accommodate the many newcomers. In 1995 a new school was opened to provide for the larger community. The U. S. Customs Office was located in Tok between 1947 and 1971, when it was moved to the border with Canada.
In one version, the name Tok is derived from the Athabascan word for "peaceful crossing." The U.S.G.S. notes that the name "Tok River" was in use for the nearby river around 1901, and the Athabascan name of "Tokai" was reported for the same river by Lt. Allen in 1887. In another version, the name is derived from the English words "Tokyo camp," although the major war benefit was supporting the transfer of airplanes to the Soviet Union. Another version claims the name was derived from the canine mascot for one of the Engineer units that built the highways.
In the 1940s and 1950s, another highway, the Tok Cut-Off was constructed connecting Tok with the Richardson Highway at Glennallen. It was a "cut-off" because it allowed motor travellers from the lower United States to travel to Valdez and Anchorage in southern Alaska without going further north to Delta Junction and then travelling south on the Richardson Highway.
Between 1954 and 1979, an 8-inch U.S. Army fuel pipeline operated from the port of Haines to Fairbanks, with a pump station in Tok.


In July 1990, Tok faced extinction when a lightning-caused forest fire jumped two rivers and the Alaska Highway, putting both residents and buildings in peril. The town was evacuated and even the efforts of over a thousand fire-fighters could not stop the fire. At the last minute a "miracle wind" (so labelled by Tok's residents) came up, diverting the fire just short of the first building. The fire continued to burn the remainder of the summer, eventually burning more than 100,000 acres (400 km²).

On January 10, 2009 Tok made headlines with an unofficial temperature of -80°F.

edited by: Yoland, Jan 19, 2009 - 04:11 PM

Yoland Grosjean - SPA 348
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Yoland Posted: 23.01.2009, 15:18


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RTW Legs 11th, 12th and 13th... Miles and miles of flight over frozen Alaska. Most of the time strong North wind, front and side, with heavy snow. Visibility was terrible for VFR flying and without the GPS and the moving map I would not have done it without crashing somewhere near the airstrips. I had to “push” the cabin heater to its maximum. Furthermore, the daylight period at this time of the year is somewhat short in the North and one has to take off early enough to land before dusk. But I certainly enjoy the trip and I am happy to send some postcards from the places that I visited.

[b]Postcard from Unalaska:[/b]

Unalaska (Iluulux̂ in Aleut) is a small city in the Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska.
According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,347.[3] Almost all of the community's port facilities are on Amaknak Island, better known as Dutch Harbor or just "Dutch". It includes Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army, a U.S. National Historic Landmark.


Dutch Harbor lies within the city limits of Unalaska and is connected to Unalaska by a bridge. Amaknak Island is home to almost 59 percent of the city's population, although it has less than 3 percent of its land area.
The Aleut or Unangan have lived on Unalaska Island for thousands of years. The Russian fur trade reached Unalaska when Stepan Glotov and his crew arrived on August 1, 1759. The Unangan people, who were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, named it “Ounalashka” meaning ‘Near the Peninsula’. The name Unalaska is probably an English variation of this name. The regional native corporation has adopted this moniker, and is known as the Ounalashka Corporation. Dutch Harbor was so named by the Russians because they believed that a Dutch vessel was the first European ship to enter the harbor.
As in all of the Aleutian islands, the climate of Unalaska is oceanic with moderate and fairly uniform temperatures and heavy rainfall. Fogs are almost constant. Summer weather is much cooler than Southeast Alaska (Sitka), but the winter temperature is nearly the same.
The mean annual temperature for Unalaska is about 38 °F (3.4 °C), being about 30 °F (−1.1 °C) in January and about 52 °F (11.1 °C) in August. With about 250 rainy days a year, Unalaska is said to be the rainiest place in the United States.

[b]Postcard from Gambell:[/b]

Gambell is located on the northwest cape of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, 325 km (200 miles) southwest of Nome. It is 58 km (36 miles) from the Chukchi Peninsula in the Russian Far East.
The Island is also an Arctic birds retreat and I suggest a visit to the following slideshow:


Sivuqaq is the Yupik language name for St. Lawrence Island and for Gambell. It has also been called Chibuchack and Sevuokok.
St. Lawrence Island has been inhabited sporadically for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan Yupik and Siberian Yupik people. In the 1700s and 1800s, the island had a population of about 4,000. As of the census of 2000, there were 649 people, 159 households, and 121 families residing in the city
In 1887, the Reformed Episcopal Church of America decided to open a mission on St. Lawrence Island. That year a carpenter, lumber and tools were left at Sivuqaq by a ship. The carpenter worked with local Yupik to build a wood building, the first they had ever seen. When the building was finished, the carpenter left the keys to the door with a local chief and departed. Since the carpenter had not spoken Siberian Yupik, the residents did not know the purpose of the building.
Between 1878 and 1880 a famine decimated the island's population. Many who did not starve left. The remaining population of St. Lawrence Island was nearly all Siberian Yupik.
The Reformed Episcopal Church had not been able to find missionaries willing to live on St. Lawrence Island, so the building built for the mission was left unoccupied. In 1890, the building was acquired by Sheldon Jackson. He spoke to the Reverend Vene and Nellie Gambell, of Wapello, Iowa, about moving to St. Lawrence Island. Gambell was hired as a schoolteacher and the Gambells came to the island in 1894. They had a daughter in 1897. Nellie Gambell became ill and the Gambells spent the winter of 1897-1898 in the United States, where Nellie was hospitalized. In the spring of 1898 they embarked on a return journey to St. Lawrence Island on the ship Lady Jane Grey. The ship sank in a storm and 43 people on it drowned, including the Gambells and their daughter.
After their death, Sivuqaq was renamed in the Gambells' honor.
Gambell and Savoonga received joint title to most of the land on St. Lawrence Island under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

[b]Postcard from Atka:[/b]


Atka is a city located on the east side of Atka Island, in Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 92 at the 2000 census.
The population of Atka is nearly entirely Aleut (Unangan). The major industry is fishing.


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Rev45 Posted: 23.01.2009, 17:39


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Flying in Alaska is Somethine Else, isn't it? heh heh Nice logs! 8-)

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Yoland Posted: 23.01.2009, 19:38


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14th leg of my RTW to the last Alaskan airport: ATU. The weather was much better than for the previous Aleutian flights: only slightly cloudy with a good visibility. But the side wind was blowing strongly from the North (358° to 7° at 25 to 42 knots). I really landed like a crab but was able to stay on the runway and stop the aircraft.
As Rev said, flying in Alaska has a very special taste (could be sometime bitter), especially at this time of the year...


[b]Postcard from ATTU[/b]

Attu, the westernmost piece of American territory and largest island in the Near Islands grouping of the Aleutian Islands, is nearly 1,100 miles from the Alaskan mainland and 750 miles northeast of the northernmost of the Japanese Kurile Islands. Attu is about 20 by 35 miles in size, and is today the home of a small number of U. S. Coastguard personnel operating a Loran station. The western International Date Line on average lies at the 180 degree line of longitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Attu's longitude is a bit more than 173 degrees, very close to the date line. The date line was drawn slightly curved westward around Attu. Some rough calculations show Attu to be around 453km (or 281 miles) from the dateline would it exist at the 180 degree longitude point. Therefore, if you are standing on Attu and look to the west, you can in your mind at least see "tomorrow."
Attu was occupied on June 6th, 1942 by the Japanese, and was the site of some of the bloodiest fighting during W.W.II (second only to Iwo Jima) commencing on "D-Day," 11 May 1943.

[i]This C-130 takes off from Attu while I was there last summer. Check out the spiral vapour trails behind the props.[/i]

The weather on Attu is typical of Aleutian weather in general...cloudy, rainy, and foggy, with occasional very high winds. The weather becomes progressively worse as you travel from the easternmost islands to the west. On Attu, five or six days a week are likely to be rainy, with hardly more than eight or ten clear days a year. The rest of the time, even if rain is not falling, fog of varying density is the rule rather than the exception. The average rainfall is around 40 to 50 inches throughout the islands, with the heaviest rains experienced during fall and early winter.

edited by: Yoland, Jan 24, 2009 - 02:41 AM

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Yoland Posted: 30.01.2009, 17:18


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RTW, leg 15th and 16th from ATU (Attu – Alaska) to UHPP (Petropavlovsk – Russia) and then to UHSS (Khomutovo – Russia).
Real bad weather with storms along the way and strong North wind. Visibility scattered and a lot of turbulences making the landing somewhat uncomfortable. But we did it!


Postcard from Petropavlovsk:

The city is situated on high hills and surrounded by volcanoes. Population = 198,028 inhabitants. In fact, the horizon cannot be seen clearly from any point of town as volcanoes and mountains are everywhere. Across Avacha Bay from the city is Russia's largest submarine base, the Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base, established during Soviet times and still used by the Russian Navy.
Petropavlovsk city was founded by Russian explorer Vitus Bering. Bering reached Avacha Bay on July 10th, 1740 and laid the foundation stone for the harbor town, naming the new settlement "Petropavlovsk" (Peter + Paul) after his two ships, the St. Peter and the St. Paul, built in Okhotsk for his second expedition. The town's location on the sheltered Avacha Bay and at the mouth of the Avacha River saw it develop to become the most important settlement in Kamchatka.
During the 1854–1855 Crimean War, the city was put under siege by the Anglo-French forces, but never fell. The city had been fortified under the command of Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky in the years previous, but only possessed a small garrison of a few hundred soldiers and 67 cannons. After much exchange of fire, 600 allied troops landed south of the city, but were forced to retreat by only 230 Russian troops after heavy fighting. One week later, 900 allied troops landed east of the town, but were again repelled by the Russians. The allied ships then retreated from Russian waters; the total Russian losses were reported at around 100 men, those of the allies at least five times that number.
Petropavlovsk was a great source of fish (particularly salmon) and crab meat for the Soviet Union in the 20th century; however, since the end of the Soviet era fishing rights have been granted to foreign interests.


The city has developed a tourist infrastructure. About twenty large tourism companies offer a wide range of services from bear hunting to paragliding. No roads connect the Kamchatka Peninsula to the rest of the world. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the second largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road after Iquitos, Peru. Travel to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is expensive but is growing in popularity because of the remarkable scenery throughout the peninsula. The city is served by Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport.

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[b]RTW leg 17th and leg 18th[/b] from Khomutovo (Russia) to Okushiri (Japan) and Izumo (Japan):
Sunny weather but very windy for these two successive segments (North wind up to 40 kn) and a lot of turbulence.

[b]Postcard from Okushiri (Japan)[/b]
Okushiri is a town encompassing all of Okushiri Island, located in Okushiri District, Hiyama, Hokkaidō, Japan.
As of 2008, the town has an estimated population of 3,442 and a density of 24.5 persons per km². The total area is 142.98 km².


On July 12, 1993, the Southwest Hokkaidō Open Sea earthquake of magnitude 7.8 in the Sea of Japan off southwest Hokkaidō created a devastating tsunami.
This tsunami killed 202 people in the town, despite a tsunami warning system and Seawall, and also caused landslides on the hills above. 32 people went missing, including 3 in Russia and 129 were injured. The subsequent fire burned down much of what remained. The island was reshaped by the tsunami, which was 10 meters high in town. The tsunami struck within five minutes of the earthquake, leaving residents absolutely no warning.
Another former earthquake produced a minor tsunami in 1983 on the island, but with no injuries or deaths.

[b]Postcard from Izumo (Japan)[/b]
Izumo is a city located in Shimane, Japan. Izumo is known for Izumo soba noodles.
Soba is a type of thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. It is served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. Moreover, it is common in Japan to refer to any thin noodle as soba in contrast to udon which are thick noodles made from wheat.
It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, so people can harvest it four times in a year; it is harvested mainly in spring, summer, and autumn. In Japan, buckwheat is produced mainly in Hokkaido. People call soba that is made with buckwheat that has just been harvested "shin-soba". It has more flavour, sweetness and taste than soba.


In Japan, soba noodles are served in a variety of situations. They are a popular inexpensive fast food at train stations throughout Japan, but are also served by exclusive and expensive specialty restaurants.
Markets sell dried noodles and men-tsuyu, or instant noodle broth, to make home preparation easy.
Some establishments, especially cheaper and more casual ones, may serve both soba and udon (thick wheat noodles) as they are often served in a similar manner. However, soba is traditionally the noodle of choice for Tokyoites. This tradition originates from the Edo period when the population of Edo (Tokyo), being considerably wealthier than the rural poor, were more susceptible to beri beri due to their high consumption of white rice which is low in thiamine, and are thought to have made up for this by regularly eating thiamine-rich soba. Every neighbourhood had one or two soba establishments, many also serving sake, which functioned much like modern cafes where locals would drop by casually.

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Yoland Posted: 08.03.2009, 01:02


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[b]A very nice flight from Japan to Korea[/b]. Some beautiful landscapes during this RTW 19th leg, along the way to Yeong Gwang in South Korea (ICAO RK1K)


[b]Postcard from Yeong Gwang (South Korea)[/b]

Korean Food is casually represented by bulgogi and kimchi. In fact, however, Koreans are proud of their diet, quite varied and full of nutrition. It is richly endowed with fermented foods, vegetables and grains, soups, teas, liquors, confectionery and soft drinks. Kimchi and doenjang paste made of soybeans are the best-known examples of Korean fermented foods, and these have recently become highly valued for their disease-prevention effects. Korea boasts hundreds of vegetable and wild green dishes. The Korean meal is almost always accompanied by a big bowl of hot soup or stew, and the classic meal contains a variety of vegetables. Korean foods are seldom deep-fried like Chinese food; they are usually boiled or blanched, broiled, stir-fried, steamed, or pan-fried with vegetable oil.

KIMCHI receipe:
5 heads of Chinese cabbage
2 white radishes
1 bunch of minari (watercress)
2 green onions
2 cups of hot red pepper powder
4 tablespoons of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar
5 cloves of garlic
1 root of fresh ginger
1 cup of tiny salted shrimp
Fresh oysters optional

1. Carefully cut cabbage in half lengthwise. If the cabbage is unusually large, cut in half again, making 4 lengthwise quarters.

2. Wilt the cabbage either by sprinkling liberally with coarse salt and letting it sit for four hours, or by soaking in strong brine twelve hours. (If brine doesn't cover the cabbage, then turn occasionally.)

3. Julienne the radishes and cut minari into 5 centimeter pieces. Fine-chop the green onions and mince or crush the garlic and ginger.

4. Mix the salted shrimp juice into the red pepper powder. (To take out some of the kimchi fire, reduce the amount of red pepper powder.) Add radish strips and knead well with hands. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly -- use your hands because the next step is done by hand anyway.

5. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly in clean water and drain well. Pack the seasoned mixture between each leaf of the wilted cabbage.

6. Fold over stuffed cabbage sections to hold in the seasonings, and fasten loosely by wrapping the outer leaf around the section. Pack the bundles in a crock or kimchi jar. Keep at room temperature a day or two, then refrigerate. Cut to bite size before serving.

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Yoland Posted: 09.03.2009, 12:54


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[b]RTW 20th leg from South Korea to most Southern Japan (RJKI – Kikai)[/b] – A beautiful sunny weather all along this quite long leg over the China sea. Picturesque islands announcing tropical delight for the coming segments of this World tour…

[b]POSTCARD FROM KIKAI ISLAND, Okinawa Prefecture, Southern Japan[/b]

Okinawa cuisine is worth every bite
Okinawan food is downright delicious.
Okinawa’s reputation for having the longest life spans of any people in Japan is attributed to many things, including the temperate climate here in the southernmost prefecture. More to the center, though, are the combination of Okinawan mindset and diet. An almost stoic acceptance of what life brings, blended with a belief that food is ‘kusiumun’, medicine, leads to the belief that food is ‘nuchigusui’, healthy for life.
Okinawan food is not Japanese food. Aside from embracing rice as a staple, local food is totally different. The Ryukyu Kingdom, the forbearer to Okinawa the Japanese prefecture, picked up much of its culinary styles and techniques from China, as well as other Asian trading nations that included Thailand and Korea.
Pork is the cornerstone in Okinawa cuisine, much as beef is with Americans. It’s been around since the Chinese introduced it in the 14th century, and Okinawans use every single part of the animal in their cooking. Pork’s abundance of vitamin B1, which purges the body of proteins and cholesterol, is attributed to the long life syndrome achieved by Okinawans.
The pork is slow cooked to achieve tenderness and to eliminate fat. Two dishes easily accepted by the western palate are rafute, pork marinated and then cooked in a brown sugar and soy sauce, and soki, a spare ribs dish cooked with soba noodles with seaweed and soup.


A couple other pork dishes loved by Okinawans, but which will take the proverbial leap of faith to try, are tebichi and mimiga. Mimiga is pig’s ear, sliced into slender strips and eaten as a snack or a salad. The true delicacy is tebichi, a unique dish with pigs feet being boiled for a long, long time, then slow cooked over a low heat. They’re actually quite good, and very tender.


Vegetables are a staple in Okinawa cooking. There are some which are not part of western cooking styles, such as mugwort, a medicinal herb, and goya, a bitter melon. Goya is chock filled with vitamin C, and is terribly bitter when eaten raw. You’ll find it cooked and served here with scrambled eggs or tuna, giving it a more refined taste.
Sauteed dishes often integrate goya, as well as tofu an noodles. Champuru is the name for a tofu stir-fried with vegetables. Add somen, a noodle, and somen champuru is a popular dish that includes leeks as well. Noodles are a mainstay of local cooking, served with everything from sanmai-niku, the port we’ve been talking about, with noodles both on the plate and in a soup.
Okinawa noodles are made with wheat flour.
Fish ranks alongside pork as the most popular dishes, with chicken coming in third. Okinawa’s fishing fleets bring a vast variety of fish to islands’ dinner tables. A visit to the Makishi Kousetsu Market, in the Heiwa Dori area of downtown Naha, is an eye opening experience. Be sure to take your camera, because it’s an odds-on bet you’ve never before seen so many different fish, not to mention other foods. There’s even a set of restaurants on the market’s second floor where you can take your fresh purchases for an immediate meal.
There’s more to Okinawa cuisine than the everyday dishes. The royal court of yesteryear is preserved by the Okinawan people, and many of the traditional royal dishes are served today. Some, such as boiled salted pork, suchikaa, sea grapes, tofuyo, a cultured tofu, sukugarasu, tofu with salted fish, and kuubu-irichii, a fried kelp, aren’t too much of a gastronomic leap.
On the other hand…..there are some dishes you’ll have to take on a leap of faith. Nakami soup, made from cow entrails, yagijiru, goat stew, and irabu-jiru, sea snake soup, are a little different for the western palate.
So is inamuduchi, an Okinawa soup made with miso, a bean paste, vegetables and pork entrails. We’d add here that miso is more than okay; it’s the other ingredients that give some cause for thought.
Seaweeds are imported from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, and fit well with many local dishes. Different, we’ll concede, but nutritious and tasty too.
The questions then are “what should we try?” and “what should we do if we don’t like it?” The answer to the first is to try everything. The second will come far less often, and a simple discrete movement with a formerly concealed handkerchief will make the offending morsel disappear. You’ll be surprised how delicious Okinawan food is, and will be anxious to go back for more.

edited by: Yoland, Aug 04, 2011 - 01:06 AM

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Yoland Posted: 03.08.2011, 19:52


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31st Leg from Japan to Basco Philippines – quite a long flight mostly over the ocean... somewhat boring, But to go around the World one has surely to fly over seas and oceans sometimes. Weather was nice despite the announcement of a typhoon coming from the East.


Basco (also known as Santo Domingo de Basco) is a municipality in the Batanes Province, Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Batanes. According to the latest census, it has a population of 7,517 people in 1,469 households.
Basco is located on Batan Island, the second largest island among the Batanes Islands which comprises the province, and are the northernmost islands of the Philippines. Basco has a domestic airport, Basco Airport, serving flights from Manila.
The town is named after Capitán General José Basco, who led the Philippines to freedom from the control of New Spain, which is today Mexico.
The wind swept islands of Batanes are beautiful and enchanting and they are like no other in the Philippines. Since Batanes is separated from the country by miles of rough waters, the Ivatans (the name of the people of Batanes) have developed a different culture. Ivatans are honest, gentle and polite but brave and robust. They are proud of their their heritage and their land.
The landscape of Batanes is also distinct from other Philippine provinces - steep cliffs, rolling hills, deep canyons and boulder-lined shores - not unlike New Zealand in some way. But the most noticeable of all features of Batanes is the architecture of the houses - stone walled and thick thatched roofs to withstand the battering of typhoons.

edited by: Yoland, Aug 04, 2011 - 02:53 AM

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RoBear Posted: 05.08.2011, 09:31

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Yoland, I have been thoroughly enjoying this thread, and have been using it as my travel guide while enroute. btw, the Cajun Jambalaya was definitely enjoyed. Looking forward to using the remainder of the recipes as time goes on. 8-)

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Very nice weather fort this leg to Mamburao Philippines. Quiet flight cruising at a 10’500 feet altitude.

Now, that we landed and relaxed at the hotel bar after a soothing shower, let’s have a look at a famous Philippines food speciality: BALUT

Philippines Balut, I bet you haven't tasted it yet!
A seemingly innocent looking delicacy, Philippines Balut is like hot dogs to Americans. However, that is as far as the analogy goes.
Balut actually gives new meaning to the phrase “Looks Can Be Deceiving”. I have tried putting off writing this review for as long as I could as this is THE exotic dish that can really make my blood curl. I actually prided myself as being the type of guy who can eat anything. Having already tried the Vietnamese raw duck blood soup called “Tiet Canh”, lamb brain and eyes, guts of different animals, snails, snakes and all kind of insects, that is still nowhere near the hellish nightmare that I had encountered from tasting Philippines Balut.
So what is Balut?
Well, Philippines Balut is actually a fertilized three week old chicken or duck egg, with an embryo in it. The embryos are formed with all the normal appendages that you find on a young duckling or chick, like the legs, partially feathered wings, complete with the beak as well! The partially formed skeleton of the embryos is what gives the Balut its distinctively crunchy taste.


The origin of this dish is said to be from Chinese’s "Maodan" or feathered egg in English. The Indochinese and Thaïs also have something similar to Balut. Nevertheless, it is the Filipinos whom have made this dish notoriously popular.
In a way, the Filipinos culture actually revolves around this dish. Only here in the Philippines can you get Adobong Balut, bottled Balut, pickled Balut, Balut omelet in addition to the traditional suck, peel and gobble variety.
The dish is also highly regarded as an aphrodisiac by the Filipino men. At least, we now know the secret of Filipino men’s virility. It is not uncommon for the Filipino men-folk to gather around in the evening for a drinking session with Balut as “Pulutan” (finger food).
Also the balut vendors are everywhere in the evening, cycling around the sub divisions crying out “baluuut, baluuut!” ensuring that you will never run out of this morbid Hannibal Lecter’s Viagra.
How do you eat Balut?
To savor the Balut, you need to tap the pointed tip of the egg to make a hole large enough to suck the broth out of the egg. Once you have managed to slurp down the amniotic fluid without throwing up, the next step is to peel the egg and expose the partially formed hatchling.
This is the part that really turns my inside out. I would seriously recommend those wanting to try this dish to really close their eyes at this point!
If you have watched Jeff Goldblum’s movie “The Fly”, the inside of the egg really resemble the result of a teleportation sequence that had gone terribly wrong.
As disgusting as it may sound, this is what the Balut reminds me of. The white is covered with a mesh of blood vessels like red lightning while another part of the egg features a coagulated mass of flesh that looks like it came from the “Elephant man”.
The way to eat the Philippines Balut is to sprinkle some salt or vinegar on it and then just bite down, chew and swallow.

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