From 'Deadliest Catch' to
July 26, 2007
Ketchikan, Alaska - The Aleutian Ballad this week will begin
taking visitors along to show them first hand the real life of
Alaska's fishermen. But instead of steaming out to the Bering
Sea, the boat will operate in calmer, protected waters near Ketchikan,
The newly restored
Photograph courtesy Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour
Aleutian Ballad owner Dave Lethin first conceived the idea 10
years ago to convert a fishing vessel into a passenger tour boat
so that people could learn about the Alaskan fishing industry.
"I wanted to share
with them the lifestyle and the allure that draws people to the
sea," he said.
Lethin has spent most
of his years at sea, ten of those as captain of a Bering Sea
crab boat. After a 60 foot rogue wave capsized the Aleutian Ballad
two years ago a horror that was caught by the "Deadliest
Catch" film crew - he decided it was time to change course.
Over the past year, Lethin has completely refurbished the 107
foot vessel to safely accommodate up to 150 guests. In the heated
comfort of sheltered observation areas, they will watch the boat's
crew launch and retrieve crab pots weighing 700 pounds each.
During the four hour tours,
the crew will educate passengers about fishing practices and
share their stories of the sea as other types of gear are baited
and set out to catch halibut, octopus, rockfish and numerous
other species. Certain creatures brought aboard will be placed
in a huge live tank before they are released to the sea.
The Aleutian Ballad planned to set off from Ketchikan for its
first Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour on Wednesday, July 25.
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