Tuesday, July 27, 2010

97.5 lbs of Frozen Fish

I spent the past couple of weeks at a fish camp outside of Juneau, Alaska with my dad. The deal was that we worked half the day as Galley Staff and then we fished half the day using their boats. Adventure! Here are some of the highlights: The Mendenhall Glacier has areas of ice so blue that they look to be made out of blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers. Flying over the glacier fields on the way to Juneau was amazing--giant, ragged channels of ice that ate valleys into the sides of mountains.
There were so many bald eagles everywhere that my dad started referring to them as Alaskan Pigeons. This fellow was brilliant. He is camped out at one of the salmon fish hatcheries. The giant salmon would come along, and try to jump over the little cement partition, and land on the rock just in front of him. Alaska Zipline Tours. Courtesy of one of Durd's bus-driving buddies.
This is the first fish I caught--a halibut. At the time, we were fishing in close to 300 ft of water with lead weights to hold our line on the bottom of the sea, so reeling anything in was a challenge. I was proud of my fish, but I soon learned that that size of fish is called a "chicken" in Alaska, and it is really nothing to get excited about. By the end of the trip, I had seen people catch fish 5 times tha size, and I was throwing all of the chickens back!

My dad really liked salmon fishing. It was cool to get to spend so much time with him. He taught me how to rig up a pole, drive the boat, and net a large, angry salmon. However, I refused to be the one to hit the fish on the head with the baseball bat.

Humpback Whale. Look close. He is breaching and is about to crash back into the water.
That thing in my hands is a crab trap. I was fishing for halibut when I snagged my line on something so heavy that I could not get it up. It was obviously not a fish, so my dad had to help me hoist it in. And lo and behold, a crab trap! We fixed the trap up, and put it out for a few days, but when we went back to check it, all we had caught was a sun starfish.

Sun starfish have 18 legs! (Thanks for the picture Elaine!)

Fish camp was fun! We did an ENORMOUS amount of dishes, made a RIDICULOUS number of sandwiches, and folded sheets until I was ready to explode. But we also met some fabulous people, saw incredible wildlife, and got to experience a place that is truly like nothing else I've ever seen. All in all, good adventure.

Now, what am I going to do with all this fish?


Megan and Kenny said...

Good luck with eating all of that fish. I guess you'll just have to have a couple of parties or something.

Katrina said...

you should swap stories with Laurel. she lived there last summer doing some of the same things you did-fishing, dishes, laundry, then again she got paid for it! looks like a fun trip. enjoy the fish!

Mike and Judy said...

Uncle Mike will be happy to take some of that halibut or salmon off your hands. Good eats!

Stormie said...