Sunday, August 18, 2013

Alaska - Prince William Sound - Fishing Adventures

Last Alaska post, I promise!

My in-laws were major sweethearts and took us out for a watery excursion on their fishing boat. We left from the tiny town of Whittier (so small that the entire population lives in a single condo building), which is about an hour southeast of Anchorage. 

Prince William Sound is known for its stunning glaciers, dramatic mountain backdrops, whale watching, and fishing. It was pretty foggy when we left port but that made for some nice misty pictures and calm waters. Always a good thing, given my husband’s seasickness tendencies. 

Lounging sea otters. 

We anchored in a deserted bay and ventured out into the life boat for a little jaunt to shore.

It started out well. 

They boys were excited. 

[I was a bit less so since we were in prime bear country and I’d just had a run-in with a giant black bear in Anchorage. Still game though.]

But then the reality of an unusually warm Alaska summer kicked in.  All those circles? Bugs. Hundreds, thousands, and millions of tiny bitting bugs. And their legions of family members were waiting for us upon disembarkation at the shore. I got a little panicky and we soon abandoned land for the (somewhat) calmer water. 

Sure is pretty though. And we couldn’t have asked for flatter water. The bugs finally went to bother somebody else and we had a nice lunch on board. 

After gorging ourselves it was time for a bit of fishing and shrimping.

Alaska Chris.

Hauling in our prey.

And my very least favorite part: getting ready to whack the wee beastie on the noggin. It’s over quickly but man it’s not pretty.

Ben looks about as impressed by his first fish as I did with mine. 

Slightly better.

Holding up an imaginary fish of his own, perhaps?

He perked up considerably when we told him that smoked salmon was on that night’s dinner menu. His favorite food of all time.

This kid is seriously addicted to water. Keeping him out of various lakes/rivers/pools has become a huge issue for us.

"I’m thinking that Alaska is a-ok, mama. Lots of water, lots of fish - I could really dig this place"

Who didn’t participate in the fish whacking? This gal. 

Hypocrite alert: loves going out on the boat, loves the thrill of seeing a fish tugging on the line, loves eating loads and loads of delicious fish, is not a super huge fan of the killing. I’ll do it. I just won’t like it. Which, come to think of it, is probably how it is for most people. At least I hope so. :)

After that it was time for a wee bit o’ shrimping. A new activity for me. We were in an area that was pretty heavily shrimped so were pleasantly surprised to find a few in the traps upon hauling up 400 feet of line. 

I should mention that I was purely a spectator here. My in-laws have this process down to an exact, coordinated science. 

Shrimp are kind of beautiful in an alien sort of way, no?

Ben was definitely not sure about the shrimp and I'd guess the shrimp was feeling the same about my child. Mutually unimpressed.

Shrimp death is slightly quicker than salmon death. One decisive twist and “Off with his head!” There is something to be said for a speedy departure from life. And shrimp cocktails. 

I absolutely refuse to end this post with a picture of a decapitated shrimp head so here’s a video of Ben playing in my in-laws hot tub. Just a quick note: They were super great and cooled it down to temps that were acceptable for both toddlers and pregnant gals. Win-win!!