Aleutian Island Scenery

Dutch Harbor, on Unalaska Island, is a big fishing port for pollock and for king crab. Most of the pollock is shipped to Japan in refrigerator containers to be made into surimi (artificial crabmeat). We asked a worker at one of the processing plants how much fish they handle. In a twelve-hour shift, they process 88,000 pounds of pollock! There is not a lot of tourism, though we did see a Japanese sea kayaking group. The Russians named the town Dutch Harbor because they believed that the island was discovered by the Dutch.

Small boat harbor, Dutch Harbor fishing boats Japanese kayakers container ship

pollock processing plant

Pen Air flies turboprops to Dutch Harbor from Anchorage several times a day. The flight takes about three hours, and is so noisy that the stewardess hands out earplugs.

Pen Air

The population of the town is only a couple of thousand people. Bald eagles perch on the crosses of the Russian Orthodox church. The peace pole is in a memorial park, with memorials to those who died in the WW II in the Aleutians. There was no indication of when the peace pole was dedicated or by whom.

Dutch Harbor Russian Orthodox church eagle perched on church cross peace pole

There were 60,000 or so servicemen stationed here during the war. There are remains of gun emplacements and old barracks in several areas. The terrain is all tundra. There are a few sitka spruce trees in town that were planted by the original Russian settlers, but they barely survive the local climate. The soil is volcanic rock, ash, and lava flows.

tundra WWII gun emplacements tundra glaciers tundra and bay Nootka lupines and bay bay

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Last modified 3 August 2009