Incredibly I have been in Hoonah, Alaska for an entire week already. There is so much to see, learn, and do in Southeast Alaska that I cannot wait to dive into life here more fully, but I hope to give you a small taste of what I have experienced up this point and foreshadow future opportunities.
Seeing as the community is along the rich waters of Port Frederick and the Pacific Ocean there is strong interest in the cycles of fish. The chatter throughout town is that the herring will be here any day and will fuel an entire diverse ecosystem. Once they arrive the whales, salmon, halibut, eagles, bears, and much more will all follow in short order. Four types of salmon may be commonly caught by simply casting a spoon from shore, and if you have a boat, the opportunity of a 300 pound halibut is just a stones throw away. I was told that whales bubble feed underneath the docks on the Hoonah Harbor. The waters here are so clear that if they are near the docks you can likely watch their underwater feeding before they break the surface. Once the salmon are in the rivers, the highest concentration of brown bears in the world will flock to the rivers to fatten up on salmon for the winter. All of these wildlife will present photographic opportunities that I cannot wait to shoot!
Clouds and rain are a staple of Southeast Alaska and fuel the temperate rain forests containing mammoth spruces, hemlocks and cedars growing to over 200 feet in height. Some regions of Southeast receive over 200 inches of rain each year and never seem to have cloudless nights. To my delight I was presented with a relative rarity in Southeast Alaska : clear skies. There are very few large towns in Southeast and light pollution is minimal. The conditions are perfect for night photography. I ambled my truck filled with camera gear high above the ocean to Gobbler’s Knob. From there the Milky Way stretched out in front of me and the aurora emanated from the far northern horizon. I listened to the sound of Long-tailed Ducks from the ocean below, the rumbled of diesel boats, and my own heartbeat. Certainly a memorable night more easily expressed through photos! The photographs below are a slice from Hoonah which I look forward to embellishing on and bringing your more of!
8 thoughts on “First Impressions of Hoonah, Alaska”
These are stunning. Although I live in the lower 48 now, Hoonah is my hometown and I have never seen such photos of the Milky Way and the aurora borealis above her hills, over her mountains, and down to the bay. Love them! Thank you for sharing.
That’s awesome, Sarah! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I was blown away by how dark the skies were, and cannot wait to capture my first summer here! I’ll be in Hoonah for the next few years, so if you’d like follow along with this blog by signing up your email. There will be LOTS of photography from Hoonah Southeast coming!
EPIC! You’ve dipped your toes into the Hoonah waters. Can’t wait to see the images and read the tales when you are fully immersed:)
😀 It’s going to be great!
Stunning, I can’t wait to see more of your new “home” territory…….Ian’s heaven!! Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to see it myself.
Thanks, Louise! That would be great!
Well, you have convinced me, I want to go to Hoonah Alaska. After seeing your pictures, I might not want to leave once I get there. The only problem would be the 200 inches of rain each year. I have never been anywhere with that much rain. However, my wife would love it. She grew up in Seattle WA.
Haha, thanks, James! I wills say, after all of the fishing I’ve done here now that Hoonah is particularly addicting if you are into that!