After a couple of days in Anchorage, it was time for our friends from the Commander Islands to start their long journey home. Over a pizza supper on their last evening we talked over some of the highlights of this visit.
- The Tiglax boat ride, and especially all the marine mammals in Unimak Pass. (Polina)
- Ram’s photography field trip (Artem)
- Seeing white-sided dolphins from the Tiglax, and attending the seal harvest on St. Paul (Sasha)
They were surprised at how clean Anchorage and Homer are, and how friendly people were.
And, the most striking differences between the Pribilof and Commander Islands included:
- It’s sunnier on the Commander Islands!
- Housing: People on St. Paul live in small family houses, whereas people in Nikolskoe live in two story shared housing.
- Paul has a more sheltered harbor. A small boat is needed to shuttle people and gear between ships and land on Bering Island.
- And, the air-strip… St. Paul has a paved runway!
We discussed ways of keeping our connections going, with more letters and photos, and maybe a trip to the Commander Islands to join their ethno-ecological summer camp.
It’s been a full trip, and we’re really thankful you made the long journey over here. We look forward to our growing friendships.
goodbyes, and some tears
Thank you to the National Parks Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program for funding this visit, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Tiglax boat ride from Homer to St. Paul Island.