Thursday, August 17, 2017
Alaska - Hoonah Happenings
Hoonah is a small village, populated mainly with Xunaa Kaawu Tlingit. The major industry is commercial fishing, which has brought a large, modern marina with protective rock breakwaters surrounding it. Perfect spot for Adventures to land and spend some time.
Lively 1 is a wooden, commercial fishing boat, Adventures' marina neighbor.
Donna Ann is an aluminum seine net boat. The small boat at her bow is a tug that she tows to the fishing grounds to help spread the net while fishing.
Condition of the commercial vessels varied greatly. Chik-a-min is one beautiful boat, appearing like new.
On a walk through the village the day before found Chik-a-min on the hard in the local marina, finishing up some work. The striped ridges are bilge keels, designed to reduce the roll of the vessel in heavy seas. Not sure of the symbolism of the dollar sign painted on the rudder - is he lamenting the dollars the repairs were costing or was he hoping the upgrades would bring more fish and more dollars for the boat and crew?
Evidence of the Tlingit culture are throughout the town. Even the benches along the street are crafted with cultural symbols.
This totem stands proudly in a small stream that runs from high on the mountain behind Hoonah, under the main road and into the harbor. Everywhere, it seems, there are reminders of the culture of the Tlingit.
And, not just crafted symbols. The two animals more revered in the Tlingit culture are the eagle and the raven. A pair of eagles have built a nest in the middle of the village. Eagles are wilderness creatures, wishing to be far from human populations. But, this pair have decided to join the Xunaa Kaawu.
Ravens were seemingly everywhere in Hoonah. This guy was standing on a rock along the edge of the harbor at the marina.
And this one was calling as it perched in the rigging of a commercial fishing boat. They are talkative creatures.
Any time 3 DeFevers get together, a Rendezvous can happen. And, it did. No, the big blue boat is not a DeFever, Not sure of the manufacturer, but do know of the owner - Boeing Aircraft. It is the corporate boat for entertaining customers. They had selected the Glacier Bay area for the summer.
The larger white boat across from the blue yacht is a DeFever 53 POC, Holoholo, a Hawaiian term that loosely means “getting together to do something, anything, but the important thing is that you do it with your friends."
After some interesting conversation, a dinner party was planned aboard Holoholo. Becky and Ian are cruising on the DeFever and operating it as a charter service.
They did not have a charter at this time, although Becky's parents were joining them for this section of the cruise. A grand time was had by all. You meet the nicest and most interesting people along the waterways.
The sunset is celebrated many different ways. In the islands, a conch shell is used as a horn to blow a single note. At yacht clubs, a cannon is fired. Ian is beginning a tradition on the waters of the Pacific North West of celebrating the sunset with bag pipe music. A more pleasant way of recognizing the occasion.
Finally, one of the main reasons for visiting Hoonah - it has a tiny airport with scheduled air service. This Cessna was our transportation back to Juneau, to connect with an Air Alaska flight for the trip home. All good things have to come to an end. An ending in Hoonah was filled with experiences.