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Ward Lake, Ketchikan

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I chose this photo because it reminds me of when Ole and I first met. I was living South and Ole was up here commercial fishing. He sent me an airline ticket to fly up to Ketchikan. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the trout were jumping. Ole took me to Ward Lake for a little trout fishing up by the old swinging bridge around dusk. Standing in my “down south” slippery boats, Ole tells me to stay here and watch for bears. Immediately I say…whoa, whoa, whoa, BEARS!?!?!?!? He said awe we should be fine. He wades across the river bed and started catching a few trout. When all if a sudden a black mama bear and two cubs came out of nowhere right behind Ole. I had never seen a bear before and couldn’t speak, all I could do is point past Ole. He saw the bears coming at him, and to this day I’ve never seen him run so fast! He left the trout for the bears and we ran. We got back to the car and he tells me that was a close one!

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We walk around the lake quite a bit and love the beauty of it. We’ve had many a picnic there too.

Last year we had our second close encounter with bears. We were walking around the lake and got to the bridge. There were yellow signs that said “caution, aggressive mama bear and two cubs seen the day before”. Half way around the lake, we stood at the bridge and soaked in the beauty. We looked at each other and said, do we turn back or continue on? We decided to go forward. Scared and each and every turn we would run into the bears, we started singing and making noise, we walked all the way back to the car.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a bear? I’d love to hear about it.

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Launch Day for the F/V LaDonna Rose

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Looks like a really nice day out. It’s not, these are pictures taken from last year. Today it’s raining and blowing 50! Craig from Air Marine Harbor called to tell us it’s still a go! So walking around in the mud taking pictures in the rain is not on my to do list today.

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This is the part of the launch where I am hoping Ole remembered to put the drain plugs in, and did he charge the batteries? Everything worked great when we took the boat out of the water six months ago, everything should work fine today right?

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I always feel better when the boat is in the water and not hanging in the air two stories above my head.

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In the water and ready to start this summers adventures!

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Ole’s Genie

Ole & Sven were fishing one day when Sven pulled out a cigar. Finding he had no matches, he asked Ole for a light. “Ya, shure, I tink I haff a lighter,” he replied. Then, reaching into his tackle box, he pulled out a Bic lighter 10 inches long.

“Yiminy Cricket!” exclaimed Sven, taking the huge Bic lighter in his hands. “Vere dit yew git dat monster??”

“Vell,” replied Ole, “I got it from my Genie.”

“You haff a Genie?” Sven asked.

“Ya, shure. It’s right here in my tackle pox,” says Ole. “Could I see him?” Ole opens his tackle box and sure enough, out pops the Genie. Addressing the genie, Sven says, “Hey dere! I’m a
good friend of your master. Vill you grant me vun vish?”

“Yes, I will,” says the Genie. So Sven asks the Genie for a million bucks.

The Genie disappears back into the tackle box leaving Sven sitting there, waiting for his million bucks. Shortly, the sky darkens and is filled with the sound of a million ducks flying overhead. Over the roar of the million ducks Sven yells at Ole.

“Yumpin’ Yimminy I asked for a million bucks, not a million ducks!”

Ole answers, “Ya, I forgot to tell yew dat da Genie is hart of hearing.

Do yew really tink I asked for a 10-inch Bic?”

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It’s That Time Of Year!

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Can you believe it’s that time of year for all us fisher people to start thinking about our summer fishing season? Pretty exciting and nerve racking all at the same time!

Going to the boat for the first time today marks the start of our transition. Tomorrow we will put F/V LaDonna Rose back in the water and start a new year of salmon fishing.

Our lives are about to shift abruptly from a spacious house on land to a cramped cabin at sea.

Ironically, it doesn’t take too long before I’ll view “cold, stinky and cramped” as “cozy and warm” as I stand close to the galley’s diesel stove. I will once again fall in love with our vessel, because for the next four months, it will be my everything.

My home, workplace, entertainment, my friend. I will put my complete trust in it to keep us safe and return us home.

Our 25th season gill netting switching between two separate lives lends itself to the things we are saying goodbye to.

We start reflecting in the truck on the way home. This is what we talked about.

Ole: Why didn’t we go to Hawaii this winter?

Me: No time.

Ole: Vegas would have been nice.

Me: Yeah.

Ole: I don’t think we ate enough pizza.

Me: I don’t think I took enough baths, I think I’ll take one every day until we get on the boat. (Only cramped showers from here on out).

Me: Oh how I’ll miss having coffee and a cookie at The Point and The Green Coffee Bean.

Ole: Lets go have coffee and savor these last few days with friends.

Me: I sure hope Keta (our new kitten) will like her new home.

Me: I am going to miss having my nails done.

Ole: I’m going to miss stretching out on our nice big mattress.

Ole: Won’t it be nice to get back on the boat?

Me: Blank stare!

Me: What will you miss the most?

Ole: Ice cream and sleep.

It’s a funny thing, we go kicking and screaming getting back on the boat. Once we’re all settled in, it’s not too bad really. After all, the season is only a short 14 weeks and that’s it!

I can do just about anything knowing it will end.

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Do commercial fishermen make a good catch?

The answer is YES!
Here’s my top twenty reasons why I think they are so cool.

#1. They are cute in their xtratuffs, sweat shirts and baseball hats.

#2. They are in good physical shape.

#3. They are open minded and willing to learn new techniques to help them be more effective.

#4. They are good listeners.

#5. They are willing to lend a hand and take a hand.

#6. They love their families and are excited to come home.

#7. They can survive a storm that knocks out all their power and with their incredible sense of direction find their way home.

#8. They know how to bring home the money.

#9. They brave cruel weather, sharp hooks, long ropes, tides, swinging booms, slippery decks, sleep deprivation and pain.

#10. They do what it takes to get the job done.

#11. They are patient.

#12. They know there are good seasons and bad seasons.

#13. They work hard and play hard.

#14. They love to go on vacation.

#15. They are persistent and willing to fish regardless of the conditions, rain, cold, wind.

#16. They enjoy the fresh air and the challenges presented by the sea.

#17. A good fishermen works at catching fish, instead of relying on luck to fill his hold.

#18. They leave their families for weeks and months at a time, endure little sleep, unhealthy food, hellish weather, and knowing in the back of their minds they could very well die any day of the week.

#19. They bring home fresh seafood and their freezers are always full of fish.

#20. They always have a good story to tell.

Next time you savor a seafood delight, thank the fearless men and women who brave the odds to serve you the best on your platter.

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Eagles, Salmon and Cruise Ship, Oh My!

The 1,080 passenger Crystal Serenity launched the 2012 cruise ship season last Saturday as it stopped in Ketchikan as part of a 94-day circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean.

They start in LA, then go to Hawaii, New Caledonia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong (and other Chinese ports), South Korea, Japan, Russia, Alaska, Canada and back to LA on April 21. Whew!

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What fun to taste food from different parts of the world. But I simply can’t help but wonder. Do the passengers start off in their skinny clothes and end the 94 days in their fat clothes waddling off the cruise ship? I know I would!

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Stylist UK Magazine Article

Stylist UK MagazineRead full article here
Work Life: LaDonna Rose Gundersen, Fisherwoman.

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Easter in Ketchikan

Photo of the Week- Beautiful Easter Sunday in downtown Ketchikan, Alaska with snow capped Deer Mountain.

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Youthful Skin–Naturally with wild Alaskan salmon

According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone “There is a little beauty secret that is worth it’s weight in gold. If women understood that eating a simple inexpensive small can of salmon would give them radiant skin, with softness like nothing else in this world, salmon would fly off of the supermarket shelves”.

You would see a stampede toward the fish isle.

Sounds like a fantasy? I assure you it is very real…

Why salmon makes you youthful

Salmon is one of the best-known sources of skin-beautifying Omega fatty acids. Salmon reduces inflammation more effectively than any other food. It enhances radiance, reduces wrinkles and puffiness. Salmon is a beauty food because it’s nutrients play a key role in keeping the skin’s outer layer soft and smooth. The Omega-3s in salmon reduce inflammation on the cellular level that can cause redness, wrinkles, and loss of firmness.

Ever wonder what salmon, shrimp and lobster have in common? Their brilliant red color is a result of Astaxanthin, the multi-talented antioxidant. Astaxanthin is the super star in the realm of anti-aging. What it does is protects the cells from the most damaging forms of free radicals-improves skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Astaxanthin is available as a nutritional supplement and worth looking into.

There’s another super star substance found in wild Alaskan salmon and that is DMAE. DMAE is a known cognitive enhancer–that is, that it can improve memory and problem-solving ability. It does so because it improves nerve function. DMAE when eaten in larger amounts, can increase muscle tone and therefore decrease the appearance of sagging. As a side note, DMAE can be placed into a lotion form and applied topically to help decrease sagging and increase muscle tone.

According to the Perricone Diet, our skin can get immediate benefits by following what he calls a nutritional facelift for three days. The foundation of this diet is wild salmon, eaten twice a day with blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. The Wrinkle Cure by Dr. Nicholas Perricone is worth the read.

Here’s five ideas to incorporate wild Alaskan salmon into your diet.

1. Shop for wild Alaskan salmon when it’s in season. You’ll feel good knowing that you are not only getting the freshest salmon available, but you are also supporting a commercial fishing family.

2. Prepare your salmon simply. Try using Olive oil and Lemon pepper for a tasty glaze without added fat.

3. Eat it for breakfast. You wouldn’t think of eating salmon in the morning with a bagel and fresh blueberries, but it works!

4. Make eating salmon a healthy social event. Make a date to go to the Fishermen’s Market, or bring out the BBQ for a potluck dinner.

5. Get creative. You could put in your eggs in the morning, toss it in your salad at lunchtime, make it into a sandwich, put it on your pasta, broiled as a burger, baked in the oven, or thrown on the grill.

There are so many different things you can do with salmon that it becomes far easier to make it part of your normal diet. When I tell people I eat salmon 5 times a week sometimes twice a day, the response is “Why so much?” Because eating wild Alaskan salmon one or two times a day, will do more for your skin than any other anti-aging remedy that I know of.

While I can’t promise you can turn back time, the anti-inflammatory benefits of foods such as salmon, will gaurantee that you can greatly slow down it’s negative effects. These include good health, ample energy, increased sense of well-being and radiant, glowing skin.

In other words, there are many health benefits to be had from eating wild Alaskan salmon.

Know of any other foods that are great for the skin? I’d love to know what they are.

Best Fishes! LaDonna Rose

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Has This Ever Happened To You?

I had a very nice, friendly, positive, uplifting blog planned for today.  Something came up this weekend that I feel I have to address while it’s fresh on my mind.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

You plan a trip to the big city for some shopping, eating out and entertainment.

You’re not sure what your exited for… Trader Joe’s, Target, Tj Max, Victoria Secret or the romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant with your lover or just plain getting out of town.

You plan this say, two weeks or more in advance.For me this last weekend, it was dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Eugene, The Lucky Noodle.

We were especially excited  because we hadn’t been to this restaurant in nearly three years.  This place has it all… atmosphere, food, service, we have never been disappointed. We knew we wanted to enjoy the evening, so we booked a room at the newly opened Inn at 5th Street to spend the night.   It’s less than a block away, which made it even more enjoyable strolling along 5th Street Market hand in hand. We arrive at the restaurant.  We were seated, the server hands us our menus and I’m pleased to see Fresh Alaskan Salmon listed for two of their entrees.

What first went through my mind is fresh… hummm… it’s March… so it must be frozen.  That’s okay.  Ordinarily I’m very cautious to order salmon in a restaurant unless I’m absolutely sure it’s wild.  Naturally, I ask our server if she was positive the salmon is wild from Alaska?  She said yes, it is wild from Alaska.

Now keep in mind this is one of our all time favorite restaurants.  So the thought of them Pan Roasting wild Alaskan salmon and finishing it with beurre blanc, served with house made asparagus risotto was too much to resist! 

Over two Blueberry Cosmos, we waited for our dinner talking about the beautiful day we had, our wonderful room, the coming salmon season in Alaska and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere.

Our entrees arrived it looked so good I even took a picture of it! With excitement I dove in!  Now obviously I know my salmon, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what species it was so Ole tried a piece.  Hesitantly his guess was Coho, then said it was a bit like wet partial board.  I tried another piece and had another one ready to go on the fork, when a server clearing a nearby table nicely asked how is your salmon?  I say great, I think…say, what type of salmon am I eating?  Wild Alaska, he says, I say no, what type? Coho, Sockeye, King?  He said let me go back to the kitchen and check.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Waiting for the verdict, I chose to only eat the delicious risotto.

The server comes back and happily announces that wild Alaska salmon is not in season and instead of serving frozen salmon we substitute farm-raised salmon.

Now…those of you that know me really really well, what do you think I did?

A.  Drop my fork?

B.  Said it’s FARMED?!?!?!?!?!?!?

C.  Picked up my plate and tossed it to the middle of the table?

 Or

 D.  All of the above? 

The answer is D all of the above and that was just the beginning.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Ole pushed his plate away also and we just stared at each other in disbelief of what we just heard.

I told our server that the restaurant is advertising Fresh Alaskan salmon and you are serving farmed salmon, this is false advertising!  My blood pressure went through the roof trying to explain to her how rotten farmed-raised salmon is for the environment and for people’s health.  I said unknowingly, I just ingested red dye, which is showing up in people’s retinas, antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides and who know’s what else.   

She was very apologetic and said since our evening was virtually ruined she would comp our entire meal. 

Has This Ever Happened To You? 

While still at our table preparing to go, we decided to see a manager to clear this up even further.  A woman who works in the restaurant comes over to our table and says… I hear you are threatening to sue our establishment.  I tell her what I did say and that is you are advertising Fresh Alaskan salmon for $24.00 a plate and serving cheap inexpensive farmed-raised salmon that potentially could make people sick from an allergic reaction.  If I was to turn you into the Attorney General for false advertising I believe it is a hefty fine.

She said, our supplier assures us that farmed-raised salmon is good to eat and there’s nothing wrong with it.  I told her several times that’s not the point.  The point is, The Lucky Noodle is using Alaska’s quality name to promote an inferior product, which is ethically wrong and hurts Alaska’s reputation. 

She made some reference to Farmed Alaska salmon.  OMG!!!  We kept telling her over and over that there are no fish farms of any type in the state of Alaska.

The woman continued arguing with us… and then she said… she would only comp my meal and we would have to pay for all the rest.

What do you think Ole did?

A. Stood up and put his coat on?

B.  Told the woman we are salmon fisherman from Alaska and we know what we are talking about?

C.  You completely ruin our evening and you want us to pay for this experience?

D.  All of the above?

Yep!  D.

She disappeared and so did we.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

The moral to this story:  We will never go back to the Lucky Noodle, because our thoughts are; if they are deceiving us about this, what else are they being deceptive about and cutting corners on?  The most upsetting thing is they are using Alaska’s good name on their menu to hoodwink people into thinking they’re getting top quality, when in fact they’re getting the bottom end of quality.  When did The Lucky Noodle stop serving wild Alaska Salmon even though it is still printed on their menu?  Back in September 2011 when the wild salmon season closed? 

When dining out unless you know the owner, manager or server very well, ask your server to go back to the kitchen and ask what type of salmon it is and where did it come from. Consumers can ask their server what region the salmon is from, what species it is and is it fresh or frozen.

They should be able to answer or find someone to answer, if they can’t, then you may want to take your business elsewhere.

I was fooled…and if I can be fooled…anybody can.

 

Has This Ever Happened To You?  You ordered something from the menu and you were brought something completely different?  Ever had a server argue with you?

 

Best Fishes!  LaDonna Rose

 

Because I believe everyone should do their own research, below are a few links to get you started.

Salmon served in some Puget Sound restaurants often mislabeled  

Oregon Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

File a Consumer Complaint

 

 

 

 

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