March 23, 2018

Friday Funny 3-23/18 (Ted Talks, and Fishes)

TED Talks

TED Talks. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organization which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan "ideas worth spreading". (Wikipedia)

We have our own version of Ted talks. Ted is the owner of a commercial fishing trawler that shares our dock finger, and we met him the first year we purchased a slip for Denali Rose in Heritage Harbor. He's in his 90s, and is what we call a colorful, Alaskan Sourdough. 

Sourdough: The name originally came from the Gold Rush of 1898 era when prospectors and other wanderers carried a lump of fermented starter dough for making bread in a pouch around their neck. The fermented dough was kept close the body to stay warm. A sourdough pouch hanging around a miner’s neck was a clear sign of experience in survival. The term came to be associated with an old timer or someone who has been in the north country a long time. (Learn to Speak Alaskan)

A sourdough is someone who has weathered some time in Alaska.  For example, one’s sourdough status might be 1 year, which means they have survived a single year.  The length of time one must live in Alaska to actually be considered a sourdough is debatable.  Some argue that becoming a sourdough is more of an existential transformation, waking up one day to the epiphany that you no longer look at the state as a wide eyed tourist but rather as a piece of the landscape, though with no less enthusiasm. (Alaskan Vernacular)

 And the response to the above definition on that same page: As someone who has lived in Alaska for almost 15 years now whose married to a lifelong Alaskan, and seen a lot of people come and go, I would have to say that it is more of an attitude than time lived up here. Your sourdough status is the length of time in Alaska which is different from being a sourdough. If all you do is gripe about how much you hate it here or wish life here was different all the time, then you’ll never be a sourdough no matter how long you’re here. On the other hand, if you have a generally positive attitude and adapt to our way of life (as opposed to trying to change it to fit the standard of where you moved here from) you’re well on your way to becoming a sourdough.

I guess I consider myself an Alaskan Sourdough, though nowhere near as colorful a character as Ted.

Ted on the deck of Rebel.

Ted tells us how his boat got it's name. "I called my (then), wife, on the phone, and told her, I've named the boat after you, I named it in honor of you being from the South. The name is Rebel, (a pause, and a grin), because I didn't know how to spell Barracuda!" Ted says his phone receiver turned red hot from the expletives that came from the other end. 

Ted doesn't commercial fish anymore, but he still takes Rebel out and fishes with a pole. I always say, "if Ted isn't catching fish, then NO ONE is catching fish!" I have never seen someone catch as many king salmon as he does. 

A couple of years ago, he introduced us to white winter king salmon, I had always thought that halibut was my favorite fish, but I have changed my mind. The white king doesn't have an enzyme that allows for the pink color, and it's a highly prized and very tasty fish. 

A bit of Johnny's salmon seasoning on top, and BBQ-d to perfection.

Ted had Rebel built for his commercial fishing business, and tells a story about how it sunk underneath him one night. Ted, and his two crewmembers woke up to knee high water in their cabin, and prepared to abandon ship, they jumped out, and swam to nearby land. After being rescued, (another story), and hauling up the boat, Ted sent it to a shipyard in Anacortes, WA for repairs. A couple of people were walking nearby the boat while it was being worked on, and not knowing the owner was within earshot, were trash-talking about him. "Can you believe it? The owner of this brand-new trawler, sunk it in Alaskan waters!" Ted turned around and replied, "yup, we were out deer hunting, and had got our limit. After it sunk, we hauled the boat out of the water,  she had 25,000 pounds of King Crab in her, so we baited her back up, and sunk her again!" Ted grinned, and walked off. That's the way to stop those trash-talkers in their tracks.

Lately, Ted has been coming down to the boat on his ATV. Since I'm on crutches, I know how difficult the ramp down to the docks can be, and his knees aren't the best anymore. 

The tide is going out, and the ramp gets steeper yet.

Bill said we should get mine out of storage, and give it a try. If I wasn't working so hard to get rid of crutches, I would be all for it. I think it would be a really great way to haul stuff to and from the boat, much better than a dock cart, however, it would also be a great way to be lazy, and not keep working on putting weight on my leg. 

Ted on his ATV at our dock finger.

Don't pay any attention to how dirty Denali Rose is, with the water shortage in Wrangell, we aren't allowed to do our spring wash down, and clean her up.

Ted talking fishing with Bill.

Bill, and I are not the only ones who like to visit with Ted, Elsie jumped onboard, got her chin scratched, and decided to check out all of the good smells.

Elsie is on super secret cat business.

Ted says that he's heard fish is good brain food, "and if that's the case, I'vs eaten so much that I should be Einstein by now!"

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.


  1. Alaska sourdough - cute! Ted sounds like a very interesting chap :-)

    1. In Alaska, you're usually either a Sourdough, or a Cheeckako, (long-timer, or newcomer), or military - passing through. I understand Ted's wife is quite interesting also, but we have yet to meet her.


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