In Alaska, the unofficial start of winter comes with the first sign of termination dust. The sprinkling of snow on the top of nearby mountains marks the beginning of days spent skiing and nights with our eyes peeled for the aurora. It also means that Orca Island Cabins is tightly boarded up and ready for whatever weather is thrown it’s way.

Since it is exposed to the elements all winter, the south deck is made up of wooden panels that are removed each winter.

At the end of our season this September, everyone got to work winterizing Orca Island Cabins. Each of the yurts had to be cleaned, the art gallery was emptied of Susan’s art and all of our kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and fishing gear had to be stored for winter.

Even our south facing deck gets to hibernate for the winter. The deck is made up of large panels that are removed and stored on higher ground to protect from harsh seas and weather.

It takes a few weeks for everything to be winterized, but the final step comes when Simon drops the dock ramp into the water.