The summer tourist season is slowly coming to an end. There will be no more days of moving 15 double kayaks to the launch. These days, it's more like 4 or 5. In a few weeks, we'll be cleaning everything up.
It's also the time of year in Sitka when a smelly mist begins to rise over Indian River: the smell of rotting salmon flesh. The poor pink salmon are beginning to die off. Whenever you walk through Totem Park, you have to hold your nose. And cover your ears. The seagulls have moved in to feast on the dead fish, and all day they squawk with joy. Or greed.
The other day I took my camera to work to do a little documentation, since I have a little spare time on my hands.
Whenever a cruise ship comes to town, the local vendors come down to Crescent Harbor. They line up along the sidewalk, hoping to make a buck. There are a couple van tours, a few private boat tours, some walking tours, and the poor guys that have to hand out coupons and flyers for local shops and restaurants. Tourism has suffered a little, because of the poor economy, so things have been a little tense this summer. There has been lots of drama among the vendors: badmouthing each other, turning each other in for violations, etc. We stay out of it, but it's kind of fun to hear all the local gossip.
Launching tours is always hectic. Everything seems to happen very fast, back to back. Once the last tour leaves, there is a little pause. We stop to catch a breath, straighten up the bus, and wait for the first tour to come back. I love this time. You feel like you've really earned a rest.
Here's Dana, sitting on the breakwall waiting for a tour to come back:
Fishing is a very lucrative job. It's very hard work and it's a hard lifestyle, but the people who do it seem to really love it. I know a lot of the fishermen here will work for the summer season and take the rest of the year off. If it's a good season, you can make $20-50,000. That's plenty to live on until next season. When the season ends, you head south: Oregon, California, Mexico, Hawaii, or New Zealand.
Some of our kayakers with the lighthouse in the background:
Talk to you soon!