*notcot in travel , 14:40

Inspiration: Sitka, Alaska- 06.30.13

sitka0.jpg On amazing experiences ~ the opportunity randomly came up to spend the last week in Sitka, Alaska salmon fishing, and we had to go! My dad has been going annually with the incredible Angling Unlimited folks for over a decade now, so Shawn and I were thrilled to finally get to join in the fun. Beyond the excitement of finally going to Alaska ~ we were lucky enough to have incredibly beautiful weather, calm seas, and great fishing, and even see many humpback whales, puffins, otters, deer, bald eagles, albatrosses, giant slugs, and so much more! When it happened to drizzle/rain on us ever so slightly, the perfect semi-circle of a rainbow came out. Beyond the wildlife and fantastic fishing ~ we also got to know the adorable island town of Sitka, visiting local bars, the totem park, raptor center, the airports infamous pie spot - Nugget Restaurant, the only brewery on Baranof Island and more… only thing we didn’t make it over to which we’ve shown you before on NOTCOT was the Fortress of the Bear! The sunsets were breathtaking every day too… Take a peek at all the inspiration and randomness we discovered on the last week’s adventure in Sitka, Alaska on the next page!

Flying in to Sitka ~ and a peek (the bottom left) at where we stayed with Angling Unlimited, nestled in the trees just across from the water. sitka1.jpg

Down at the docks… starting each morning at 4:30am… sitka2.jpg

Captain David J Gross leading us out… (he also happens to be quite the painter)… sitka3.jpg

Shawn manning the rods up front… and the GPS/radar/sonar fish finding navigation unit showing us at depths of over 700 ft while looking for the BIG halibut… sitka4.jpg

We were in awe of the beautiful bird filled St. Lazaria island… sitka5.jpg

Heart shaped cave… sitka6.jpg

It’s mind blowing how many Puffin are nestled up in this cave! sitka6a.jpg

The island from afar… snowy mountains in the background… sitka7.jpg

One of the larger halibut! 110lbs! (catch + release) sitka8.jpg

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At some times we had nearly a dozen albatrosses hanging out with us ~ watching them take off and land on the water is so fun, and i’ll never get used to how impressive their wing spans are… sitka40.jpg

When we did have a little rain, we also fished under a beautiful perfect rainbow! sitka9.jpg

Heading back in to the docks… sitka10.jpg

Our boat was the Discovery ~ and we did pretty well finding everything from King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Halibut, Black Cod, Pink Salmon, Chum Salmon, Yellow Eye, Black Rock Fish, Sole, Silver Grey Rockfish, Lingcod, a Sevengill Shark, and more. sitka11.jpg

The sunsets… sitka13.jpg

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A peek from the docks at sunset at the hotel we stayed at for the last night… sitka19.jpg

On fun randomness ~ man country stickers, fun voltage warning signage, recurring polar bear/yinyang logo motifs, and a peek inside the Baranof Island Brewing Company, which is the only brewery on the island! sitka25.jpg

Wandering the docks, the boat names were amusing… sitka17.jpg

And sunset always spectacular… sitka18.jpg

We had to go by the Pioneer Bar… sitka20.jpg

… decades of photos of boats and fish covered the walls… and the chalk board had lots of scrawled wanted ads for deckhands… sitka21.jpg

We did some grilling of our catches paired with Macallan deliciousness… found a Side Hill Salmon (think salmon/jackalope?) in another bar… sitka22.jpg

Ludvig’s Bistro is deliciousness in a little house… sitka23.jpg

And the wine came with toy bulls!!! (More on the bulls here!) sitka24.jpg

When not on the water, we wandered into the woods… sitka27.jpg

Visting the Alaska Raptor Centersitka27a.jpg

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You can’t miss the giant slugs all over… most we saw were the thickness of 1-2 fingers… you can see an albino on the left, regular on the right. sitka30.jpg

Sitka National Historical Park has totem poles tucked away between the trees… sitka31.jpg

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We also ran into them LiDAR scanning their totem poles for the Library of Congress as well as their own website. sitka33.jpg

The Nugget Restaurant/Bakery/Bar at the Sitka airport is known for their famous PIES! sitka34.jpg

A peek at the runway on the water as we wait to take off… sitka35.jpg

More runway views… sitka36.jpg

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And we’re off! sitka37a.jpg

I LOVE Angling Unlimited’s attention to detail when it comes to getting your fish from the boat home… as soon as you catch a keeper, they gut it and put it on ice in the boat, fillet/steak it when you get back on land, then vacuum pack and flash freeze it till you’re ready to go. The packaging of the vacuum pouches, insulation, packing tape, and boxes is a nice touch. They even have the boxes waiting for you at the airport, help you get them checked in (each box exactly 44.5 lbs and precisely sized to keep the airlines happy)… and when you get home… check out the unboxing! We have a freezer full of deliciousness to keep us full for some time… sitka38.jpg

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2 Notes

WOW! This looks like such an incredible place. I had a friend once that took off every year for about 3 months to Alaska to work and live..what a dream come true. Reminds me of the lifestyle in Nova Scotia Canada’s East Coast—absolutely a different universe. Enjoy those memories, I bet they’ll be hard to replicate! Thank You for the share. Photos are as spectacular as the views they portray.

----- Jeanine 17.07.13 18:00

Makes me want to close the laptop and head north to Sitka. Thanks for the inspiration.

----- Jesse 01.07.13 16:12

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