Don't Delay - We Sell Out Every Year!
Several years ago, "Stevo” was a deckhand in the dead of winter on the Bering Sea on a boat filmed that season by Discovery Channel for the popular TV series ‘Deadliest Catch’, which gives the world a glimpse aboard life at sea. As a professional deckhand, Stevo has experienced nearly every type of commercial fishing in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. This filmed season shares that and more, with Stevo saving the life of a man that unexpectedly fell overboard.
"I have never run across such beautifully packaged sockeye – deep red fillets nestled in pairs, expertly sealed and ready for the table."
In contrast, farmed raised salmon, with its artificially colored flesh and unnatural marbling, is a decoy for the gastronomic experience salmon was intended to be. Wild salmon has the benefit of tasting wild: firm fleshed from a life lived with vigor, deeply hued and kissed by the cold, briny water it was pulled from.
For a true salmon lover, this is pretty much as good as it gets. Last night, fillets were simply seared and served over freshly harvested mesculn topped with avocado, sesame oil and tamari. Honestly, meals like this do not get much better. I could taste the vigor unique only to wild flesh swaddled in the sweetness only the ocean can deliver. A sincere thanks to Heidi and Steve for their hard work and integrity.
There’s a lot of wear and tear on the boat, even though it’s a short season, Dunlap says. That’s because, for three months, the couple does nothing but fish.
"It’s total extremes," Dunlap says. "Sometimes I’m so tired and so cold, I think — Why am I doing this? And then, when it’s dark and the water is glassy calm and the moon is rising from the horizon and the world is completely still, I think, wow—this is the most beautiful place in the world, and I can’t believe I get paid to do this."
In Alaska’s Bristol Bay, brutish winds rule the summer salmon fishing season. The sun sets after midnight and rises around 5 a.m. Tides are legendary here- some of the highest in the world. And potentially deadly sandbars crop up as often as storm clouds. But describing these violent conditions, Heidi Dunlap still registers a mild smile.
"The seas go from choppy to lumpy to big, nasty, and unforgiving in a flash."
Bill and Karen arrived home last Thursday aboard their 36- ft sailing vessel after voyaging to Hawaii from Wrangell, AK. "As we sit here securely docked in Wrangell harbor it is difficult to reflect clearly upon our journey a month ago. The big seas, the leaky cupboards, the hole in the window that soaked everything, the small electrical fire seems so small and unimportant now."
Heidi was featured in a wonderful article focused on western North Carolina females running sustainable businesses. While Wild Salmon Co. is certainly a partner-run venture; Heidi was certainly raised on a boat and began as a deckhand at the young age of 15.
“There are approximately 1,600 boats that fish in Bristol Bay every year, and I’d guess that less than 10 percent are [operated by] women,” Dunlap says. “But there are substantially more women fishing than there were 10 years ago.”