Connected to nowhere by road, each town along the isolated coasts of Southeast Alaska retains its own vivid character. Petersburg is a tidy town of Norwegian distraction where everyone is a Viking descendent, fiercely proud of their Norse traditions, remembered or learned. Some continue to speak Norwegian, as we discovered when we were mistakenly addressed in the vernacular. Egentlig!
Petersburg is also wholly hooked on fishing. The borough’s three well-managed, ample harbors are occupied to capacity by immense purse-seiners, gill-netters, trollers, beam-trawlers, long liners, and crabbers, suckled by three large factories processing anything brought up from the deep, around the clock. The air is perfumed with the olid aromas of seafood production. Every man, woman, and child is now, or soon will be, a fisherman.
Petersburg is as friendly and happy as it is fishy. Locals enthuse about the benefits of fostering a family here. Visitors are made welcome and often subsumed in a waterfront exchange of briny tales. This is a family town where no restaurant serves up an evening meal because everyone eats at home or at sea.
Harbor Killings 2018
A Briny Tale of Annihilation
Earlier this summer a herd of sea lions trained their pups to hunt by bringing them into Petersburg Harbor to kill all the resident seals. In August, a pod of adult Orcas knocked several resting sea lion pups off their precarious perch on a buoy to be devoured by their Orca calves. Nydelig!