Last week while fishing for salmon, Sarah and the family got to see brown bears up close and a bit too personal for my liking. They are cute, especially the cubs, but dangerous is not the word. One swipe with their claws and you could be a goner. Sarah and Todd climbed a glacier in Denali National Park and hopped on airplanes the way we jump in our car to go places.
Sarah grew up active and starts her day in the gym. Todd, Bristol and Sarah go to the shooting range and do some skeet shooting. Bristol finally gets one after several tries with a rifle. This week they go to Homer, Alaska, the halibut capital of the world to go commercial fishing.
Before going on the road trip, they stop by Sarah’s parent’s house and leave Trig with his grandparents. They head up to Homer which is 73 miles from Wasilla. They meet Captain Pat and his wife Barbara on their boat named “The Bear.” They are leaving on the next day, so they stop at the Homer Fishermen Memorial. Sarah said that several of the fishing towns in Alaska have a memorial dedicated to the fishermen who never return.
So Sarah and Bristol go out with Captain Pat for a mother and daughter day. They had already set their lines. Sarah starts to bait the hooks and they find out that halibut can range from 20 to 200 pounds. When they are pulled up, it is important to stun them with a billy club so they do not flop on the deck and bruise their meat and then they have to cut their gill plate so they bleed out to keep the meat nice and white. They then gut the fish and stuff them with ice and keep them in the ship’s hold till they take them to market. On the trip, they saw whales breaching which to me was the highlight of the entire trip.
The next morning Sarah and Todd have some alone time and go kayaking. They see sea otters frolicking in the water and some small fish jumping out of the water. It was a nice time for them to be together.
Then on land they meet up with Captain Pat to have their catch sold. Captain Pat shows them how to take the ice out of the fish. This is called the “slime line” where Sarah tells us that many Alaskan kids have worked the “slime line” at one time or another.
Then they hit the auction block where the fish are cut up for market. The fish cutters are masters at their craft. They cut those fish to ensure that every saleable piece of meat is salvaged.
Then they go clamming. They wait to see bubbles in the sand at low tide and dig them out. So they had some of the halibut they caught and clams they dug and had a wonderful outdoor dinner under the Alaska sky.