Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homer and the Keani Peninsula

Homer is renowned for being the capital of halibut fishing. I organised myself a half day fishing charter and was more than happy to catch the 2 fish quota. Halibut is a white meat fish that grow to some stupidly large sizes. The fish I went home with were babies at 20lb each but when they sell for $16+ a pound (lb) it made the cost of the charters highly worth it! There is no skill or art to fishing bait your hook (circle hook) and let it hit the bottom. When it starts pulling wind it up and decide if the halibut is big enough for your liking. You don't have to set the hook...yanking on it will just pull it out...simply wind it up! Halibut is like a flounder so not even a fighting fish...simply wind away and marvel at the fact it has both eyes on the same side of its head!

Russian history...Alaska was purchased off the Russians in the 19th century...pre oil and gold...silly buggers! Hence there is a strong Russian culture even today. I went exploring the head of the Kachemak Bay and found myself amongst the strict Russian Orthodox community, beards, women dressed like they did 100 years ago and speaking Russian as primary language.

Later that afternoon I went scenic driving and drove through another Russian community that welcomes the 'infidel's' (people like me) - still Russian orthodox though. I called into the cafe/gift store as it had been recommended and the Russian lady wouldn't let me leave without feeding me a Russian meal...for a cost of course so I could help save the Russian kiddies...really I was hungry and interested in what Russian food would be like (since when have I cared about a child or a child somewhere in stomach is much closer to home!)

The meal was amazing and will be remembered as much for the food as her personality...planting the seed for Tim to travel Russia...

Clamming is the family outing for many young Alaskan families. During the low tides the families descend on the glacial mud flats and suck or shovel clams from the mud. It looked like fun but the thing I love most about Alaskan camping holidays is every kid has an ATV to ride and there are trailers and large 4WD pickups everywhere.

The other Alaska past time is fishing...the salmon swim upstream during a few weeks each summer and come in such numbers (usually) that everyone including the bears are satisfied. Russian River is the place to be when the salmon a passing and you will line up with hundreds of others to cast your line for salmon.

Capt. Cook also travelled the Alaskan coast so I felt obliged to spend a night in the reserve named after him...stunning sunset at 11pm!

By now the red rocket had done 800+ miles and had developed a shake so back to anchorage I headed.