Just after posting yesterday, I learned there was a herring opener scheduled for 1:40pm! After my one o’clock meeting at the courthouse, I ran back to the shelter, where my housemate, Jackie, and I hopped in the car with my supervisor, Vic, and headed out the road to catch a glimpse of the action. When we approached the traffic jam forming on the sides of the road, we knew we had found the best vantage point. Unfortunately, the fishery was too far offshore to see much except for a large cluster of boats. Vic, having seen about 30 herring openers during her years in Sitka, was highly unimpressed. She said that boats should be on the verge of colliding with each other and there should be tons of spotter planes zooming around overhead. We saw three low flying planes off in the distance and then the clouds moved in completely to block most of our view. The opener lasted until 6:20pm but there was only 1.4 tons caught of the estimated 19 tons they can catch this season. Still lots more to be had! We’re ready to rush out for the next opener that is hopefully closer to shore and provides a show for all of us in town.
THIS JUST IN: The next opener is just off Crescent Harbor (the harbor about 50 feet from my house). It’s currently 1:16p.m. and I’m ready to run out from work in a few minutes if nothing comes up between now and then to go and see it! Everyone was headed toward the harbor at lunch time. This really is Sitka’s finest show!
2:55p.m. I just returned from watching the opener and took about a million pictures. It was quite cool to watch! We counted 13 planes flying overhead spotting and radioing down to the boats. Though I didn’t see this firsthand, the boat the Infinite Grace tipped over which you can see here in a video. Pictures posted soon! It’s still going on as I type.
Also, yesterday, I participated in the “Choose Respect” march that Governor Parnell organized. Sixty different communities throughout the state of Alaska gathered together yesterday at noon to show their support to end domestic violence and sexual assault. This is a huge step for the state of Alaska to bring recognition to these issues, as Alaska leads the nation in having the highest numbers of domestic violence and sexual assault.
As you can see from the photo I got a bit more involved than I had anticipated (on the far right, holding the sign)!