I’m sure you all know that feeling when you are making your in-laws process out all the fish you brought home from Seward on a makeshift system in the backyard and then you have to stop what you are doing to make sure the bull moose that is eating along the slough isn’t going to decide to come visiting too closely. I mean, you KNOW that feeling, right? Everyone does.
Have I ever uttered a more Alaskan run-on sentence? Nope.
In honor of Sergio’s parents coming to visit again this year, we planned a trip to Seward. Our big event while in Seward was that we planned to go on an all day fishing trip. To say that this worried me is a vast understatement. Let me number the ways –
- I don’t fish. Why do I want to do this?
- Would any of us get sea sick?
- Is Rosalind going to be good for 10 hours on a boat?
- Will it be cold?
- Will it be wet?
- Will I cry when someone catches a fish and I have to watch it die? Would Rosalind?
- Will Rosalind fall off the boat and die in the frigid Alaskan waters? (Hey, nobody said being a parent doesn’t breed some very morbid thinking).
So before I get into which of the above came true and which was not an issue (spoiler: Rolo did not fall off the boat), let me just chat about Seward as a destination first.
Often when people find out that I live in Alaska, they first bring up any number of Alaskan television shows where people fish, or homestead, or antisocial people live off the grid. I pretty much immediately say, “we don’t live in that kind of Alaska.” “That kind” being the kind where the ocean meets the mountains. Seward is “that kind of Alaska.” A picturesque, but somewhat gritty, small Alaskan town nestled around a small bay and tucked underneath towering mountains. It’s pretty. It smells like the fishing tourism industry that keeps the town running. It has 75 year old bars on a main strip. It’s remote enough to feel like you moved somewhere difficult and distant while still being accessible to a Target a two hour drive down the road.
Activities to keep you entertained in Seward include fishing, wildlife tours, eating, hiking Mt. Marathon, and walking/shopping around town. My personal favorite was the Alaska Sealife Center. This is where I tell you that I have lived my life all wrong. All of the decisions I have made that have led me to this point in my life have been the wrong decisions. If I had made the right decisions, my job in life would be to serve as the comfort object for an 8 week old walrus.
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS A CAREER OPTION!!! Her job is to cuddle with a baby walrus! Daily! My parents, counselors, and career aptitude tests have all failed me.
The places we ate included The Cookery, chinese takeout, and the Seward Brewing Company. Sergio and I very much enjoyed our raw and chargrilled oysters at The Cookery, but honestly the wait for both seating and then food was so long as to mar the experience for me slightly. All of the other food can pretty much be wrapped up as pretty good. I was disappointed to find that the chocolate store was closed on the only day we had to walk around town.
The highlight of the trip (other than the aquarium) was definitely fishing. For most of us anyway! We went on an all day multi-species charter. It took 2 1/2 hours to get out of Resurrection Bay and into our fishing waters. All fifteen guests and three crew members made the outbound trip with no issues. However, as soon as we stopped and anchored, three of the fifteen guests started puking. They all continued to be sick to one degree or another for the remaining 10 hours of the trip. I felt awful for them because there was just no escaping the situation and a whole day stretching out before them. As for the other concerns that I had, they broke down as follows –
- It turns out I really get a kick out of fishing when there are people there that bait my hook, tell me what I’ve brought out of the ocean, kill it humanely for me, and then filet our fish before we get home. I know. I’m a terrible person.
- My poor mother-in-law was one of the three that got seasick, but the rest of our party managed fine.
- Rosalind was really great! She actually slept a lot during the outbound and inbound trips which may have had something to do with the non-drowsy dramamine being less than non-drowsy in an eight year old body.
- It wasn’t that cold and it miraculously did not rain at all! I wore a hat because I can’t stand wind in my ears, but it was pretty temperate while we were still.
- I do not enjoy watching things die. Sometimes it got kind of brutal like when someone caught a 69 inch halibut that took hours to fully quit twitching and the captain of the boat had brutally whacked it repeatedly to try and kill it quickly and keep it from knocking anyone overboard. It was pretty horrific. I did not have any specific emotions at the time other than to hope it was quick and look away. Rosalind would probably have participated in popping the fish on the head if she had been given the opportunity.
- Again, nobody fell off the boat. I think some of the members that were so terribly seasick might have wished to throw themselves overboard rather than endure another moment, but I’m just guessing from how miserable it looked.
I should also mention we saw eagles, puffins, humpback whales, sea otters, and porpoises while on the boat, so it was sort of a wildlife tour as well.
We shipped 40 lbs of halibut and salmon to various locations in Arkansas through Captain Jacks before leaving Seward and then took another butt ton (scientific term) of halibut, salmon, and rockfish all the way back to Fairbanks to deal with on our own at home where, as I mentioned before, we finally hung out with a bull moose for a decent amount of time.
All in all, I think we have gotten a number of great Alaskan activities ticked off of our list. Go to Seward! Go fishing! I would end with the tip that maybe Seward only requires two days for visiting, but it’s a lovely destination. I’m linking Aurora Charters because I enjoyed our experience with them. Here is a Seward puffin.