A working harbor is a busy place. When the seine boats are tied up, in between openings, there is a major focus on maintenance and repair. A neighboring seiner's crew spent long hours over a couple of days working on their net, checking for tears and repairing each hole by hand. What a lot of net area to check, typically 1200 feet long by 40 feet deep, but nets are an expensive and critical piece of equipment.
There's also time for fun on board when the family comes to visit.
What happens to all of the salmon that are hauled aboard in a seine net? Most seiners transfer their fish to a packer (also called a tender). This pair were busy doing just that inside Sitka's breakwater.
Photo: packer on the left, seiner on the right
Photo: the large vacuum tube sucks water and fish out of the seiner's hold and pumps them into the packer.
A working boat of a different type, this tour boat utilizes underwater viewing ports to give its passengers a glimpse of aquatic life. A scuba diver will frequently rendezvous with the boat and hand feed a variety of fish. It's a popular tourist attraction, and keeps busy when the cruise ships are in port.
We do spend some time away from the docks (and not just at the grocery or the marine supplier). This year we revisited the Sheldon Jackson Museum.
"If there were a museum for museums, the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka would be part of the collection. It is the oldest museum in Alaska and is located in the first concrete building in the state. Construction began in 1895 and it has been occupied since 1897. The building was placed on the National Historical Register in 1972.
While the building may be as old as some of the items in its collection, its exhibits reflect recent renovation and a dedication to professional museum standards. The Museum's collection has been called a jewel in the crown of Alaska ethnographic collections."
The collected artifacts were interesting and well displayed, but we most enjoyed the time spent with Margaret, a traditional beadwork artist, and the several docents on duty who added so much life to the experience.
Photo: traditional Tlingit headpiece with abalone shell and ermine tails