When the history books get around to writing the story of what all happened in 2020, one of the emphasis items will be the way that our entire lives geared down and ground to a halt, quickly, just as winter was turning to spring. The authors might mention how expectations were shifted, over and over, until it became difficult to have any expectations at all. It will also, undoubtedly, talk about how we overcame the pandemic, how life returned to a happier place, the way it all ended. (I know a lot about the first two things, same as everybody else, but I’m still awaiting news on the third.)
As for the Ikkatsu Project, there’s another cancellation to announce, and this one hurts, there’s no getting around it. The 2020 South Kuiu Cleanup, scheduled for three weeks this coming July, has been struck from the calendar. Logistically, even legally, there’s no actual way to make it happen this year. Major funding for the project, for both the Ikkatsu Project and the Cape Decision Lighthouse Society, was cancelled due to the economic downturn. And now, in accordance with Alaska state emergency measures, anyone arriving from out of state is subject to immediate 14-day quarantine, which would not be something any of us could really do. That may change, but it may not. For planning purposes, it’s the nail in the coffin.
The break in data is unfortunate, as is the lost chance to open up a few new kayaking opportunities in Affleck Canal. But the data will be there next year and the Marble Islets and Kell Bay aren’t going anywhere. I will miss the social side of it the most, I think. The chance to connect with the volunteers, some on their third year at the lighthouse, some on their first rotation. I will miss the concerts in the galley, the art unveilings and the Friday night banquets, with cocktails at sunset on the rain roof. I look forward to it all year, and knowing that it’s not going down at all this year is just plain tough.
It’s already on the calendar for next year. That’s the expectation.