Training to Survive

This experience started out weird; consciously it made no sense. I know I was driving a tractor trailer on the ice road. I had a survival suit on and kept scuba diving gear with me in the truck just in case it fell through the ice in the water below.   That was until I found that me and group of people were in a room up in the Arctic circle located on one of those islands off the coast of Alaska. We were monitoring communication machines and intercepting transmission coming from all over the world. It seemed that the communication were military contractors doing some work with the Navy.

We had to be involved in some type of survival exercise just in case we find ourselves in the sea. I was putting on a life jacket before I was directed to go aboard the rear of a boat. Yet, Before I could get on the boat, I was told to put on an official Navy life jacket. Since I already had one on I just put the Navy’s official life jacket over the one that I already had on.

I took my place at the rear of the boat and the boat went out to sea. Since I was in the rear of the boat I was being splashed by the cold sea water. Then I heard the instructor in charge of the exercise say, “now for the next portion of the exercise.” 

We were required to dismount from the boat and float in the cold sea water. The idea behind it is to let us get accustom to being left in the water for a prolong period of time before being rescued.

 It was my turn and as I went into the water; the official Navy’s life jacket deflated and the other life jacket I had on somehow stripped away. If it wasn’t for the survival suit and my swimming skills and being calm in the cold sea I would have drowned. But then I was being dragged around by the boat.

When the crew came to pull me back in the Instructor wasn’t too pleased that I didn’t have any life jacket on. He demanded to know who I got the life jackets from…I never saw the outcome of the Instructor’s outrage.

The scenery shifted; and through my eyes I saw the Bearing Sea below along with the chain of islands off the coast of Alaska and the Bearing straight between Alaska and Russia. There was some type of survey being done because construction of a bridge between Alaska and Russia was going to be built. It seemed the Russian and American gov’t wanted to have a permanent   crossing available and not to depend on the natural crossing that forms during the winter. They were worried that due to global warming; it would be a matter of time before the natural ice crossing become disabled and eventually won’t form any more….

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