Who needs an underwater camera?

All I need is a large building with glass-walled rooms that are filled with reconstructed marine ecosystems.

Like the Seattle Aquarium!

This bull kelp is in a big dome that you can stand under. Check out that diver! He's over our heads. Those bags he's got are full of squid and herring because he's about to feed the fish

We saw them feed the octopus, who looked an awful lot like the one that Rudy caught on the Rosanna Marie when we were crabbing. And there are sea otters and seals.

I like how clearly you can the seal's....toes?

And these are coral polyps! There's a whole section of the aquarium devoted to Pacific coral reefs.

And this is a tufted puffin. And Sean. And me! You can watch the birds dive and catch fish under water. It's pretty amazing--they're fast and graceful and not at all as silly as they look on land.

Fishermen's Terminal 09.21

Seiners as far as the eye can see.

This is Fishermen's Terminal, in Seattle. These are the last fishing boats I'll see for a while, as I'm off to Atlanta soon.

Fish ladder 09.20

I stopped in Olympia this afternoon for a lovely lunch and a little jaunt around a park that has a salmon hatchery.

That concrete wall hides a ladder for the salmon to run up, with a series of pools, kind of like locks, that the salmon can rest in.

This is where they end up. See their little backs poking out of the water? They put ladders like this besides rivers to make the run easier, or next to dams so that the salmon can get up where human engineering would otherwise prevent it.



I love this image. It's bull kelp. This particular photo was taken as part of the Census of Marine Life, which is an umbrella over a whole lot of projects that are collectively documenting biodiversity in the ocean. I'm drooling over their image gallery.

I can't take pictures like this yet, but maybe one day I'll get an underwater camera. I've been warned that putting mine in a ziplock bag is not going to cut it.

When it's not modeling for photos, you can find bull kelp acting as crucial structural and nutritional support for complex offshore ecosystems, as media for herring roe fishing, and as the base for this special Alaskan salsa.


Brave New World

I landed in Seattle this morning. People are dressed like they live in a city, no one smells like fish, and it’s really sunny. I’m disoriented. 

At this very moment, I’m zooming down to Castlerock on Amtrak, which has wifi. Civilization has really come a long way while I’ve been fishing.

Slow trip to Ketchikan 09.04

For the last two days, we’ve been travelling a few miles a day, moving slowly through some pretty choppy waves and anchoring up at night to stay out of some bad weather, but we woke up this morning to flat water and even hints of sunshine. Looks too good to be true, doesn’t it?

I think we’ll be in Ketchikan in a few hours. Which I guess means I’m buying plane tickets and returning to reality in the next few days, with mixed feelings.

Goodbye, Craig. 09.02

On my way back to Ketchikan, finally! We left yesterday evening.

The ride has been fantastic so far. We’re going up and around Prince of Wales Island and then down Clarence Strait, which should be familiar territory because we went through there on the way north. Other than the one town we’ve passed—a town Ron described by comparing it to Deliverance—it’s all been tiny islands and calm water and sea otters and ducks and jumping salmon that we don’t have to catch. There’s one channel, with part of it dredged out to allow passage, that’s so narrow apparently they used to have competitions to see who could tow a log barge through without touching either side. Here’s a photo of it from the back deck:

Fishing for Halibut 08.31

We went halibut fishing with a long line this afternoon. Long lining is really different than seining. It’s kind of more like crabbing, actually. Here’s Dennis setting up the gear, tying hooks on along the length of the line:

Deer hunting? 08.30

Yes, I went deer hunting this morning. Luckily (?) we didn’t catch anything. So, I got to drive around beautiful Prince of Wales Island, explore a little black sand beach, and do a little target practice with a rifle.