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A Morning Swim Across the Channel

On Sunday, May 22, my boat Albatross with the McLean party aboard was the first to leave the dock. Two-thirds of the way through Olga Strait we spotted a large swimming animal ahead. “Is that a moose?” was the first question. Given we don’t have moose on the local islands the answer became clear. A big Southeast Alaska brown bear decided to vacate Halleck Island in favor of Krestof Island. We avoided getting too close, but with the aid of zooming in, got a splendid video courtesy of Greg McLawsen. After 30 years of running a boat in Sitka, this was a first for me.

AU Comes Full Circle

In 1993, my first year in Sitka, a 19-year-old farm kid from Minnesota became my deckhand. He’d just finished his freshman year in college. His flight to Sitka was his first time aboard a jet and he’d never seen the ocean. He proved remarkably smart, hard-working, and quick to learn. We had a wonderful time working together and soon developed silent synchronicity, knowing what each of us had to do without saying a word. That deckhand was Chuck McNamee. Three years later he became Captain Chuck. 15 years later he became my business partner Chuck. Recently we completed the full transfer of AU to Chuck and he’s now my boss.

This year another 19-year-old who just finished his freshman year has started the season as my deckhand. He’s Jack McNamee, the oldest son of Chuck and Jenny. He’s just as smart, personable, and hard-working as his old man. The difference is Jack grew up fishing Sitka every summer – no training required. Jack is also a licensed captain and clearly ready to take the helm. Full circle.

Angling Unlimited guests on fishing charter boat
Angling Unlimited guests in Sitka, Alaska

News In And Around Sitka

[vc_hoverbox image=”21479″ primary_title=”” hover_title=”Sitka Salmon Derby” hover_btn_title=”Details” hover_btn_color=”primary” hover_btn_align=”center” hover_add_button=”true” hover_btn_button_block=”true” hover_btn_link=”|||”]The 67th Annual Sitka Salmon Derby began on May 28th.[/vc_hoverbox]
[vc_hoverbox image=”21481″ primary_title=”” hover_title=”Mt. Edgecumbe Watch” hover_btn_title=”Learn More” hover_btn_color=”primary” hover_btn_align=”center” hover_add_button=”true” hover_btn_button_block=”true” hover_btn_link=”|||”]Mt. Edgecumbe, our local volcano, has been officially reclassified, but not cause for concern.[/vc_hoverbox]
[vc_hoverbox image=”21482″ primary_title=”” hover_title=”Salmon Prices Hit the Roof” hover_btn_title=”Read More” hover_btn_color=”primary” hover_btn_align=”center” hover_add_button=”true” hover_btn_button_block=”true” hover_btn_link=”|||”]Copper River Salmon, the well-promoted, first to the market salmon are going for a small fortune this spring – $130 per pound for king salmon filets.[/vc_hoverbox]
Hostess Anna is hard at work baking gingersnaps for the day. 

One Comment

  • Ivan Cross says:

    Tom and Chuck – or is it Chuck and Tom?! Even though I’ve not made it back (yet!) I love seeing your reports and hearing of your success. This story brought back great memories of fishing with you, and meeting Chuck way back then, and to hear he now owns AU and his son Jack is on board as a Captain really warms my heart. All I can say is CONGRATULATIONS to the three of you (and all those behind the scenes…)!
    Best Fishes –

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