The two-handed seafood catch.
03 August 2011 | posted at Metlakatla
Photo: Prawns from New Tokeen on Osprey's table.
I've concluded that seafood in SE Alaska is like zucchini in a neighborhood of gardeners; there's always plenty to go around. That's a good thing for us since we never seem to have the time to really devote to catching it ourselves.
Our first of what Steve calls his "two-handed catches" of seafood occurred in Elfin Cove. The owner of a charter boat we had seen the day before gave us a chunk of chum salmon. A few minutes later a salmon troller came in. We'd taken the last space at the dock so Steve offered to let them tie up to Osprey. "Thanks," said the fisherman and handed Steve a whole Coho. It made a great going away dinner for Karen and Dave.
A few days later we anchored in Magoun Lagoon in Sitka Sound. I took my kayak out for a paddle and stopped to say hello to the folks in a powerboat from Sitka. "Can you use some halibut?" asked the man. "How many people are on board?" Of course we could use some halibut.
In Warm Springs Bay we were tying Osprey to the dock when I saw a man bringing in a small salmon right there. "You need to get your pole out," I told Steve.
"Why don't you just take this one," said the man when he heard me.
I left Steve and Joyce cleaning the salmon and took a copy of Glaciers, Bears and Totems down the dock to a boat named Tokeen that I remembered from a previous visit. The woman had told me about her experience of coming to Warm Springs as a child and I had quoted her in the book. I sold her a copy and as I got up to go, she asked, "Can you use some crab? We have more than we can use." I brought a shopping bag of fresh cooked and cleaned crab back to Osprey for our lunch.
A few days later we stopped in New Tokeen to visit with Mike and Corinne who are renovating the old seafood plant there. We had visited them in 2008 and I wanted to see how the renovations were coming and show the old town to Joyce. They invited us up to their house for cookies and coffee. Then Mike asked, "Would you like some prawns?" He gave us two bags of fresh caught prawns and threw in a hunk of halibut besides. We then walked through the old plant, poking among the archeological wonders of kerosene lanterns and percolator coffee pots. Corinne proudly showed us her hens and turkeys and her new greenhouse.
On the dock we were just ready to shove off when Corinne leaned over and put a zucchini on the cabin roof. "Here's a zucchini to eat with the prawns."
The prawns made a great going away dinner for Joyce. The zucchini made a good addition to a prawn soup two days later.