Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Alaska '08 Day 53, Juneau

Sun Aug 3, 2008

We went up to Macaulay Fish Hatchery, on the way into downtown. It is a private, not for profit fish hatchery. Evidently not all fish hatcheries are run by the government. They raise chum, pink, king and silver salmon, not all at this hatchery. We got lucky there is a chum run going on. The fish were in thick just like the pink run in Valdez. The run is artificial, they put a fish ladder in to create stream flow which the salmon will climb. The top of the ladder is a tank where they harvest the fish for roe and milt. The meat is not good at this point so it is sold to the crabbers as bait or gound up and dumped in the bay for the critters. Chum are fished commercially for markets in Europe and Japan or smoking and for roe. I could see a few kings mixed in with the chum, they're easy to spot, larger, reddish back with spots, chum have no spots. The guide said they separate the kings by hand and hold them for a few weeks because they are not ready to spawn.

We visited another Russian church from the 1890's. It was very similar to the church in Kenai. The church is up on the side of the mountain and there are some nice views down the roads into town. There were 4 cruise ships in town, right downtown.

We spent a couple hours in the downtown shopping district. Basically downtown is just the cruise docks and souvenir stores (and jewelry stores). This is the place for souvenirs, anything and everything. There are more tourist shops here than anywhere else we've been to on this trip.

We stopped off at Alaskan Brewing Co. on the way back from downtown. We've been drinking it all along the trip so I wanted a church key and coolie. Not the easyiest place to find (on a side street back by CostCo).

Auke Bay marina, right at the end of street, had a sign fresh dungeness crabs $8 so we picked up 3 and cooked up for dinner. The crabs were huge compared to what we can get at home. Yum!

- Jon


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