fishing (101)

Alaska Native Sea Hunters in Northern California in Early 1800s

Saw this beautiful painting by Bill Holm* last week at Fort Ross. The Russians brought the hunters, most of them from the Kodiak Islands, to hunt sea otters at Fort Ross in the early 1800s. The kayaks were made of sea lion skins, the parkas (said to be waterproof) of sea lion intestines, the hats resembling birds.

“…The Kashaya Pomo called the Alaskans Underwater People because their boats sat so low in the water it seemed as if they were coming out of the sea. The iqyan (kayak) they developed is still studied today and its design is incorporated into modern shipbuilding. The Russians called these skin boats baidarkas.

The Alaskans were expert sea hunters. They honed their skill over thousands of years while living on isolated islands and waterways. RAC sent Alaska Natives along the coast to hunt for otter and fur seal pelts. They traveled great distances by kayak, including the Farallon Islands 35 miles southwest of Fort Ross across the rough open ocean, where the Alaskans stayed for months at a time. Alaska Natives used a spear with a detachable point tied with sinew to an air bladder made from a sea mammal’s stomach. After the animal is speared, hunters track the floating bladder, waiting for the animal to come up for air.…”

https://www.fortross.org/native-alaskans.htm

*Represented by the Stonington Gallery; Also see his book, Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form

Post a comment (3 comments)

Fort Ross, Recreated Russian Fort on NorCal Coast

Last week Yogan and I spent an hour exploring the Fort Ross State Historic Park, a masterful re-creation of the Russian Fort built on the Northern California coast in 1812. The Russians brought down Native Alaskan hunters who speared sea otters from seal skin kayaks. Most of the hunters came from the Kodiak Islands and their kayaks, spears, and hunting techniques were extraordinary (more on this later).

If you are ever driving up the Northern California coast, I highly recommend going to this site.

Here is the chapel (star of the show), metal shop, and wood shop. Roofing on these buildings consisted of 2 layers of long planks, laid with the cracks in the top layer over the centers of the under layer.

Post a comment (4 comments)

Local Food This Week

It’s been a good week for food from close by. I went out Friday in my (12′ Scrambler) kayak and spent almost 5 hours between paddling and digging (and raking) for cockles and horseneck clams, resulting in clam fritters and tonight, clam linguine. Got 4 rock crabs that were scooting around in the shallows.(Also ended up pretty exhausted.)

Bought a small halibut from a neighbor fisherman, was given 4 rock fish by a friend, and got a bunch of smelt at night.

On Tuesday I was going to hike along the coast and noticed that the cattails were pollinating and got the pollen shown in the photo (you bend the stalks over and shake into a paper bag) — took maybe a half hour to get this much. I added it to oat pancakes this morning. All our vegetables are coming from the garden this time of year.

(Two weeks earlier I burned up my Evinrude 2-stroke outboard motor (seaweed clogged water intake) AND on same day got truck stuck in the bay and was pulled out by tow truck just as the water got up to the floorboards — close call! — but that’s all another story…)

Listening to Mojo Nixon’s “Loon in the Afternoon” program on Sirius Outlaw Country station right now.

Post a comment (3 comments)

West Coast (Santa Cruz) White Sharks

Synchronicity: Before the last blog, about the shark on the east coast was posted, Ed Forgotson sent this link.

“A great white shark near Santa Cruz swam under a kayak on Tuesday – and the paddler, a marine biologist out to see the sharks, snapped a series of photos unlike anything ever seen on the central coast.

‘I was just off the cement ship when this 8-foot great white shark swam right under my kayak,’ said Giancarlo Thomae, who works as an interpretive specialist for a whale watching operation.

   The photographs also show great white sharks in the shallows just off Seacliff State Beach in Aptos on Monterey Bay, where campers on the beach watch the shark fins as they pass nearby.

   While paddling his kayak, Thomae sighted and photographed four great white sharks at close range along the shore. He then boarded Specialized Helicopters out of Watsonville for a sky view, where he and the pilot counted 14 great white sharks just offshore the state beach, within a quarter mile of the cement ship. In the photos, the silhouettes of the sharks are clear near the sea surface.…”

Photo: Giancarlo Thomae / KayakWhaleWatching.com

https://blog.sfgate.com/stienstra/2015/07/01/santa-cruz-great-white-swims-under-kayak-paddler-gets-photos-9-pics/#photo-658709

Post a comment (4 comments)