My first entry to Alaska in 1976 at the age of 26 was beyond unique to say the least!!
I had my sea legs before my land legs with 30 days at sea, working as the only full time fishing crew on a freezer salmon troller...all this right after earning my B.S. in Business and Master’s Degree in Social Work in Michigan, then traveling across country in my van with my homemade canned pickles, over 200 donated bulbs of garlic, and $300 to my name. Having joined a tree planting crew & fishing commercially in Oregon and California for one year, earned me the reputation of a hard worker, and the opportunity to jump aboard a freezer boat going to Alaska.
I was enthralled with every aspect at sea, from 16 hour work days with chasing the elusive, wild Alaskan king and silver salmon and captivated by whales and porpoises to glazing fish at 30 degrees below zero and drifting at sea many nights. As important as any college degree was my stamina, physical labor, sense of humor, and camaraderie with the captain, working as a team to catch and process fish at sea.
Having settled in Sitka since 1978, and still active in the commercial fishing industry, having raised two children on boats (one having his own freezer boat now), going back to college and earning an elementary education degree and spending over 25 years teaching, coordinating childrens’ enrichment fairs for 20 years, learning how to harvest edible greens, venison, fish, berries, rose hips; hikes galore on beautiful, pristine trails & up mountains, even losing a roll of film at the top of one mountain and finding it months later on another hike there, the pictures still developing crystal clear.
With over 44 years connecting with the people, land, and sea, tailoring your experience with “SITKA BY THE SEA” will guarantee you an open door to very unique and unusual places, one for years to remember!! The sky is the limit, and the stories are endless!!!