Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sand Point, Alaska

 I've just gotten back from Sand Point Alaska where I spent the last two weeks at the Sand Point Culture Camp.  I had hoped over the period of the last month to post dispatches from both the Urban Unagax^ Culture Camp in Anchorage and the culture camp in Sand Point, but in both places, days were long and the internet connections were problematic, so that the dispatches just didn't happen.  So here they are, retroactively.  I should mention that I traveled to Sand Point together with Mike Livingston and John Petersen.  Mike was the person instrumental in getting John and myself to Sand Point.  John is a fellow kayak builder and he and I built an Unangan kayak.  Mike taught model kayak building.
Photo above is one of many views of Sand Point in the foreground and Unga Island in the background. Unga Island is considerably larger than Popov Island where Sand Point, town of roughly 900 people is located.  Unga was probably more important as an Aleut living place before the arrival of the Russians, but today, Unga is uninhabited. 
 Weather for the first week was mostly cloudy with frequent rain and only intermittent sunshine.  Temps were in the fifties.  On this, a fairly typical day, the clouds thinned a little around 9 pm when these pictures were taken and the sun poked through to dramatically light up selected portions of the landscape.  Looks lovely of course and is somewhat cheering after a full day of low hanging clouds and persistent gloom.

Here's another view of town from a sea-level vantage point.  Shortly after taking this picture, a woman came out of a nearby house and we talked to her for a while.  Turned out she knew me.  We had met in Akutan a few years ago.  Then she went back in her house and brought out some smoked salmon for us to take with us.
Here's John with his smoked salmon in front of a portable smoke house.  I don't know exactly how this smoke house works or why it is on wheels or what the function of those racks on the side of the house are, but the discoloration to the left and top of the door are a pretty good indicator that smoke leaked out the door at some point. 
So that's it for today.  Much more to come soon.  Like a report on the boat building, the launch, a hike on the island, fishing and more.

1 comment:

Douglas Montgomery said...

You report frequent rain at Sand Point in July 2011, yet my weather records (from the weather underground) show no precipitation whatsoever from 16 July to 3 August, 2011. Furthermore,'s historic records show only 3 days with measurable precipitation at Sand Point during the past ten years!

These records are completely at odds with other locations in the Gulf of Alaska for the same period.

Is smoking something?

Also, did you do any paddling? The islands around Sand Point look like terrific places for expedition paddling.