ALEUT CORPORATION

As Arctic Ice Melts, Will The Navy Return To Adak?

Sep 27, 2019
Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media

Amid the wind, waves, and rain, a strange ship roared through Kuluk Bay toward the shores of Adak.

It looked out of place, speeding past misty green mountains of the western Aleutian Island, a cross between a speedboat and an industrial fishing barge. With alarming speed, it lurched from the shore onto the beach, kicking up dark swirls of sand and sea spray. Its cargo trickled down of a ramp: Humvees, U.S. Marines, a compact green bulldozer. Everything you would need in an invasion.

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

Starting next summer, Unalaskans will able to rent jet skis and hire tour guides to show them the island’s waterfalls and wildlife. At least, that’s the vision of Doanh Thi Tran.

Tran won a regional business competition last week and earned $20,000 for her startup, the Bering Breeze Company.

“It’s a new recreation equipment company that will provide jet skis, bicycles, paddle boards, and paddle boats — fun things for local Unalaskans and anybody just passing through town," she said.

APICDA/Aleut Corporation

Unalaskans have swept the first round of a regional business competition, thanks to startup ideas that range from soccer camps to bike rentals.

Last week, a panel of judges chose Travis Swangel, Carlos Tayag, and Doanh Thi Tran as the finalists of the 2017 Aleutian Marketplace Competition.

Sponsored by the Aleut Corporation and the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), the contest will give one winner $20,000 to start a business.