Cannery Tour

It’s been a few days now since my parents left. They flew out of Dillingham last Thursday evening, and were in West Virginia again by Friday morning. While they were still here, we tried to do a few more of the touristy things in Dillingham.

One of those things was the tour at the Peter Pan Cannery. It was a nice tour, but at two hours long, it was also hard on my feet. Natalie, Dad, Mom and I learned a lot about fish processing, though.

We started out by getting some lab coats and hairnets to wear.

There were a couple of old men from New Stuyahok in the net loft, working on putting nets on the cork lines.

The cannery is very old, and so some things, like the decks, are interesting. Giant slabs of lumber for the dock.

They also use an old Model A Ford to pull around their welding rig.

The boilermen have decorated their bike.

We all looked great in hair nets.

Even Dad and Mom.

We saw where they filet the fish and vacuum pack them for shipment.

We also saw the huge warehouse where they store things like cans for packing salmon into.

They have to replace pieces of the floor periodically with new beams.

There were boats coming up to the cannery to offload salmon.

And more boats steaming by.

Drift net boats are interesting.

They had some local girls working for DNR. They were measuring fish and taking scales for DNA samples to learn more about where the various salmon come from and where they go to spawn.

We also saw the machine that cuts off the tails and heads, and then uses a roller to smoosh out the guts.

The canning line was pretty interesting. Once the cans are sealed, they’re rolled into the ovens in big carts.

And then when they come out, a big machine picks up a whole bunch at a time with a magnet and puts them neatly on a pallet.

I probably should have written about the cannery tour earlier, as now I’m forgetting all the highlights. I hope the pictures give you some idea. After the cannery tour, we had dinner at the house of Samara’s boss. She, her husband and children are nice. It was another good opportunity for everyone to eat fresh salmon (and some pizza, which Natalie liked).

The day that they left, mom did get one last chance to walk down towards the beach and enjoy the view.

Overall, the weather stayed overcast and rainy for their visit, but I think that my family had a good time visiting Dillingham. It’s certainly a different place to live, and they got to see all the highlights, from the lakes and mountain views, to the moose and bald eagles. They got to experience the Bristol Bay fishing season by watching subsistence net fishing and eating fresh salmon. Not your typical vacation, and a long way to fly to see us, but we were happy they came.

Somehow, though, I don’t think we’ll be able to convince them to take the flight again before we move back to Kentucky at the end of next year.