Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Valdez, Alaska

The captain of the Lu-Lu Belle takes her steaming into the Columbia Glacier ice field at 30 knots, skimming past the icebergs by mere inches. I think Titanic. I think cold...


Mrs. Phred knows Beth from her Women's RV Forum. Beth drives the Lu-Lu Belle in the summer. Sometimes she makes brownies and lets the Captain drive the boat.


Icebergs can be s beautiful blue or a dirty gray depending on the part of the glacier from which they came.....


The season opened today for the commercial fishermen to catch salmon. There are dozens of boats catching "pinks" and "silvers". several million of these try to reach the fish hatchery in Valdez from which they were spawned every year....


The approach to Valdez reaches a summit 30 miles north of town and turns into a long downgrade. I daydream about coasting in on my bicycle...



The sea otters are making a big comeback after having been hunted almost to the point of extinction. There is a big "raft" of them floating near the Exxon oil docks....Exxon must be doing a better job with pollution control...


The Alaska Pipeline terminates here in Valdez.....


A Holiday card?


Stellar Sea Lions on the beach eat lots of the salmon....


The ice field has changed dramatically since we kayaked here in 2007.


The water temperature is 30 degrees F. or minus one Centigrade
.

I went to the fish hatchery this morning at 5AM. It doesn't really get dark this time of year. It just turns into a strange twilight in the early morning hours and then gets light again around 3 AM...There were about ten sea lions milling about in front of the hatchery to greet the returning salmon...


The "pink" salmon are the smallest of the five types of Alaska salmon. They average about 4 pounds and about 2,000,000 of them  try to swim back into the hatchery every year after spending two years in the open ocean. These are also called "humpies" because of the shape of their backs.


The "silver" salmon weigh about 10 pounds. They are less numerous here and are also called "coho" salmon....



There is a place near the hatchery called Allison Point where you can fish from shore....I understand that the silvers and pinks will hit on a small spoon.


If that doesn't work, the local fish processing plants sell fresh salmon...


I added some hamburger to my vegetarian chili this time....I liked it...adding cheddar cheese, sour cream and chipotle hot sauce as toppings was good too....

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