Subsistence Kayaking VI

 Fredrik Norrsell
This squirrel was busy dropping cones on our tent all night, and caching them for the coming winter.
 Fredrik Norrsell
One of the squirrels many food caches.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy with a nice Chanterelle harvest.
 Fredrik Norrsell
All the wildlife were fattening up for the winter, including this Brown Bear sow and her 2 cubs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A big plate with pan-fried Silver Salmon, Chanterelles and Beach Asparagus. A great late summer treat.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Found amazing tide pools full of anemones, sponges, and limpets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Sunset in Chatham Strait.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We got winded in and camped a few miles short of Angoon on our last night. Awoke during the night to this spectacular Aurora and the sound of a breaching Humpback Whale.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Leaving Angoon on the ferry.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A spectacular last sunset, as we were heading north towards Haines on the ferry.

Subsistence Kayaking V

Finally back for the last entries about last summer. Held off publish some images since some publications wanted to buy first time rights. More to come.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A stack of rock fish fillets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy cleaning rockfish. Rock fish was a stable in our diet, and our favorite meal.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Weather turned wonderful for the last 10 days of our trip with many stunning sunrises and sunsets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Shorebirds were abundant at the end of the summer, as the fall migration had begun.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The small town of Baranof. Hotsprings and a great friendly community. What else can you wish for.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A sleeping Stellar Sealion.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We watched this bubble-net feeding Humpback whale for well over 1 hour.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The humpback whale coming up close for a breath.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Anemone in a tidepool.
 Fredrik Norrsell
As we crossed Chatham Straight the weather detoriated and heavy rain started.

Subsistence Kayaking – II

The he trip is going well after 45 days and over 300 nautical miles we have reached Sitka. Here we are re-supplying on spices, oil and sugar. After several weeks of fantastic weather we now have a pretty good storm moving through. Hopefully we can continue towards Goddard Hot Springs tomorrow.

Good weather allowed us to paddle the open coast on the west side of Yakobi island.
Brekers along the outer coast of Chichagof Island.
Deer are abundant along the coast and can be amazingly approachable when approached slowly.
Nancy proudly showing off her catch. The first salmon Of the season for us.
Nearly 40 pounds of fresh salmon that will feed us for many days.
Smoking salmon is working well as a way to preserve fish, and it is delicious. The evening before we caught 7 large Keta salmon.
This dinner was a highlight. Pan fried rock fish, with rock fish ceviche, shrimp and fresh picked berries.

Subsistence Kayaking – I

 Fredrik Norrsell
A beautiful sunset. The rainy SE alaska has offered more sun than rain.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The first ripe strawberries. What a threat.

Our trip and in SE Alaska is going well. We started in Haines and paddled to Gustavus. Had to take a detour to Juneau to replace a broken fishing rod, but we still have eaten well. The first Salmon have arrived, but we haven’t caught any. Looking forward to them arriving in large numbers. We have primarily subsisted on Dolly Varden, Halibut, Cod, and a mixture of beach greens. Berries has also started to ripen with strawberries being our favorite. Crabs has been hard to catch but delicious when we succeed.

Limpets a tasty treat especially on days with poor fishing.
A delicious dinner with fresh crab, salad, bull kelp and stir-fried veggies.

Subsistence Kayak Trip

We are leaving for our summer of subsistence sea kayaking in SE Alaska, until September (is the plan). Will start paddling in Haines, and paddle in the direction that seems to have the best catching and harvesting. Our fishing gear, shrimp pots, crab snares, etc. are ready to provide the catch as we collect edible berries, plants and mushrooms. A well stocked spice kit will help us prepare some delicious meals (we hope). A few pictures from last summers trip below. I will try to update this page if we stop in a small town.

Want to hear more about how it is going? We are planning to post several updates with Adventure Kayaker.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Dinner with rock fish, shrimp, wild weeds, and mushrooms.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy Pfeiffer picking blueberries.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Stir-fry with wild mushrooms and greens cooking over a fire.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A nice collection of fresh harvest, watermelon berries, chanterelles, blueberries and chitons.

 

Wild Food Recipe

What a great dinner! We had a few requests for the recipe of our: “Fresh caught shrimp, baked rockfish and beach pea salad.”

First catch and clean a rockfish, then bake it over your camp stove in a big frypan. Season with salt, black pepper and stuff the belly with beach loveage.

Next, find a good shrimping spot, catch a handful of shrimp, boil for a few minutes in salt water and serve.

Third, take a walk and collect the following for the salad: Shelled beach peas, sour dock (otherwise known as mountain sorrel), wild violet leaves, twisted stalk leaves, or whatever greens you happen to have (chopped fine). Add the following from your extensive kayaking spice kit, a tiny bit of red onion, sesame oil, crystallized ginger and lime juice to taste.

Fourth, collect a handful of hedgehog mushrooms during your walk, sauté them in oil and season with salt, pepper and rosemary.

Note: Beach peas can be plentiful and easy to pick, although shelling them requires a zen approach to time. They can contain small amounts of toxins that accumulate, but are considered safe to eat occasionally.

Wild Food

What makes this so special?

With a variety of light-weight, compact, delicious, camping foods available, why would a person choose to paddle around eating weeds?

 Fredrik Norrsell
Stir-fry with wild mushrooms and greens cooking over a fire.

At times I ask myself the same. Wilderness time is so precious in our busy lives. Wouldn’t I rather go for a hike than sit under a tarp cleaning mounds of beach greens?

These kinds of trips aren’t lightweight. We don’t have to pack all that food, but the space is more than occupied by fishing gear, shrimp pots, collecting bag etc. It isn’t less expensive, compared to the cost of kayaks, and paddling jackets, food is cheap and the things we do bring, spices, and oil, and condiments, add up quickly.

While I relish the sweet illusion that by gathering your own food, this kind of life could go on indefinitely, we are still linked to the money economy more than I would like to admit. Summer will end all to soon. The colors will change. The bounty will disappear.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Pink Salmon entering a spawning stream.

I do feel healthier out here. Is it outdoor exercise, or a diet, low in carbohydrates and sugars, closer to what our ancestors ate, that makes me feel more alive?

 Fredrik Norrsell
Dinner with rock fish, shrimp, wild weeds, and mushrooms.

Mostly I enjoy that looking for food makes me notice things in greater detail. Is that a mushroom with true gills or little flat topped diverging ridges? Gulls are sitting on the water in a perfect line, maybe marking an upwelling current and good fishing.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Salmon leaping high onto the air.

Catching a gorgeous silver salmon or finding a blueberry patch dripping with grape size berries, I am in awe the earths abundance. Being surrounded by baby animals, catching a glimpse of a sea otter pup peaking out from it’s mothers arms, or a duo of humpback whales passing in unison, I feel a sense of optimism for the earth. Their is an abundance here. We are intimately linked to the world around us is in a most basic way. And as Fredrik says, “There is something deep inside of us that longs to gather food.”

 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy Pfeiffer picking blueberries.

Text by Nancy Pfeiffer – more stories and recipes to come.

Wild Food Trip

We had a very successful 25-day sea kayaking trip on Prince William Sound paddling from Cordova to Chenega, living off the land and harvesting our food along the way.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A nice collection of fresh harvest, watermelon berries, chanterelles, blueberries and chitons.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy Pfeiffer paddling in front of the Chugach Mountains.

Will post more about the trip soon, meanwhile check out this article about our trip last year, which was published in Adventure Kayaker Magazine. http://www.rapidmedia.com/ak/adventurekayakmag_fall15

Wild Food

After the mountains, Nancy and I headed out on a personal Sea Kayaking trip in Prince William Sound. The catch with this 15-day trip was that we had to catch or starve. In other words the only food we had with us was a rich supply of spices, salt, sugar and oil, to flavor and preserve the wild food we caught and collected. Luckily we had planned it well and it was berry and salmon season in Alaska. It was a fantastic trip and it will be featured in the June 2015 issue of Adventure Kayak Magazine.

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The only planning “mistake” we did was including the two wettest stormiest weeks of the summer in our trip. Yes – it pretty much rained non-stop the 13 first days. But it is nothing like hunger to get you out of the tent to catch and/or collect dinner in the rain.

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