Alaska

The Deeper Meaning in Meaningful Travel

by Steve Brock on September 23, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…

Not your aquarium variety of fish, but halibut have their own unique appeal.

Besides the previous story regarding eagle talons, here’s my second Alaska fishing story, this time about halibut. If you’ve ever seen a halibut, you know they are flat, like a football run over by a steamroller (see the drawing at right). They can also get extremely large, some growing to over four hundred pounds (let’s see an eagle tackle one of those!). And because of their body configuration and the daily workouts they get floundering (sorry, a little fish humor here) and undulating on the seabed, they can be extremely strong.

Apparently, on more than one occasion, fishermen have ventured out on their own in the cold Alaska waters. They would then hook into one of these large halibut and somehow manage to wrestle the massive fish into their small boats. But because of their size, strength and shape, the halibut would flip around on the deck and have been known to actually knock out, break the bones of or even kill the fishermen by smashing them into the side of the boat. [click to continue…]

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My last entry regarding my friend’s trip to Alaska and the power of treating our trips as an act of faith reminds me of two stories I heard when I was in Alaska several years ago. I’ll tell you the first one here and save the other for my next entry.

Bald eagle locking onto a fish. Note the appropriate ratio in size between the eagle and the fish...

The first deals with salmon and eagles, not necessarily in that order. Apparently – this was a story I heard, mind you – when a bald eagle swoops down over a body of water and latches onto an unsuspecting fish, the eagle’s talons lock into a grip on their prey that cannot be released until there is some countervailing pressure on the item they’re carrying or on the talon itself. This usually occurs when the bird lands and then relaxes as it eats its catch. But if it can’t offset the pressure that causes the talon to grip tight, the eagle cannot let go. [click to continue…]

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Travel is many things to many people, but have you ever thought of it as an act of faith?

On your salmon fishing trip, try to think about catching one of these bad boys rather than the work that you left behind.

I was reminded of this notion yesterday as my friend Mike (a different Mike from my seagull-loving college roommate) left on a trip to go salmon fishing in Alaska.

He’d planned this adventure with friends over a year ago and yet now that the departure date was upon him, he was having second thoughts. Projects at work this week had piled up like dirty dishes in the sink. Taking a week now to go relax and enjoy the grandeur of Alaska with friends seemed counter-productive. How can you relax when you know you have all this work waiting for you when you return? [click to continue…]

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