If you plan on hiking anywhere off the roads, camping, or driving to Summer's Bay, be sure to drop by the Ounalashka Corporation (O.C.) and get a land use permit. With Alaska's onerous private property liability laws, OC has had to start charging folks to use their land.
Daily fees for individuals are $5, weekly $15 and they have family rates as well.
I hear people complain about this a lot, but I think we are very lucky to still have a way to get off the beaten path. Many places in Alaska have been closed off entirely to avoid the liability to the land owner. It just shows respect to the land owner and avoids the embarrassment of having to pay on the spot if you're caught without one.
If you come to town on a weekend, OC offices are closed but you can get a permit at the WWII center by the airport. They are open 1-6 pm on weekends.
Have seen a lot of visitors frustrated when the cell phone they brought doesn't work here. If you must have that electronic tether to reality, you can rent one at the Grand Aleutian or at Alaska Wireless.
Of course, the reverse is true for us locals. Our cell phone doesn't work in the rest of the world. Alaska Wireless is hoping to add roaming features at some point, but they just aren't there yet.
Riding the ferry system is not like taking a cruise. The purpose of the ferry is to connect these villages, and is not designed for tourists. The Ferry is scheduled to arrive at 6:30 in the morning and depart at 11:45, by far the longest stay we had in any stop this trip, but way too early! Nothing is open. If you want to wait for the next ferry, you will have a visit of one month! or a flight to Anchorage will set you back $600.
If your not going to Dutch Harbor to work the boats you shouldnt have much to worry about. The flight might give you sweaty palms at times, the runway comes up out of the water and faces a mountain and flights are often canceled and delayed due to weather. If your working here in the fishing industry your working one of the more dangerous jobs up here. Long hours, dangerous machinery, heavy objects moving, and of course the weather and ocean itself. The Bering Sea is absolutely amazing. Storms can last a week, 50' seas are not unheard of. Storms with hurricane force winds are a monthly occurence during the winter and a 'storm of the century' happens every three years or so.
Youll probably going to feel like your being ripped off when you pay 10 dollars for a Burger King meal deal (theres one in the super market)- and at the taxi fare but what can you really expect this far out? People here are honest the island is to small for scammers and losers to last long.