(PressMediaWire) 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, Alaska.
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 sets off from Ketchikan for its first Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour on Wednesday, July 25Find more information at www.56degreesnorth.com/