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Wings of Alaska flight from Juneau to Haines

It’s an odd old life at the moment that doesn’t lend itself to blogging, or much else outside of work or travel for that matter. My summer has consisted of long days and nights in the edits intercut with sharp sojourns to Alaska.  Crazy commutes to location are part of the job but this one is a classic. It’s three flights and two days to get where I’m going in SE Alaska.

Sam Brown on the slow boat to Juneau

Also known as the Pan Handle of SE Alaska, is actually on the west coast of continental North America, (confused?) check it out here. Being on the west coast, the weather is unpredictable. After a flight north from cool Seattle,  the final leg is up the coastal canal from Juneau to Haines, skirting glaciers and overflying whales.

My latest exit from Haines was on a Fast Cat

The journey should be on a small single prop plane on ‘Wings of Alaska’. But often the weather is so changeable that I end up taking alternative methods of transport. I’ve taken a fast cat, cessna, chopper and slow boat so far. I head back to Alaska soon. Who knows, I may get to kayak home yet.

Under the clouds. South from Haines to Juneau by chopper on the way to LA

One recent diversion took me back through LA for the premiere of a show that’s part of ‘Locked Up Abroad‘ , a long running TV series that I look after at Raw TV. In this episdoe called ‘The Real Midnight Express‘, Billy Hayes re-lives being incarcerated in a Turkish prison in the 1970s.  His story inspired Alan Parker and Oliver Stone to make the film ‘Midnight Express’.

The Hollywood premiere of 'The Real Midnight Express'

The TV show launched the recent series of  ‘Locked Up Abroad’ on National Geographic Channel. I sat beside Billy at the premiere as he re-lived the trauma that changed his life. He was nervous.

Dick Atkins, Billy Hayes and myself at the launch.

It took Billy an enormous amount of courage to take part in this film.  He had to stand by his life-changing and costly mistakes in front of a theatre of TV critics,  friends and  subsequently a national TV audience. When it aired, it rated off the scale. I was delighted for Billy and the teams at Raw and National Geographic.

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