Today was the first full day of the official rendezvous, (Nord2Alaska)…with Breakfast (delicious!!!!) at the Sons of Norway Hall followed by talks … speakers included some of the participants of the rally, who have proven to be second to none in their levels of expertise. At least, I thought they all sounded pretty smart! As I mentioned before, the people attending this rally are truly Doers… with a few young’ uns thrown in who are keen and eager and already DOING rather than DREAMING… so many incredible people to talk to.
There was also time to wander the streets of the town and poke around in the local shops. I think that there are some pretty fantastic artists around here, judging from the arts and crafts that are available.
I indulged in a few of the local artists’ ware, and am mulling about some of the other things I have seen.
The towns people have been accommodating and friendly. This in spite of a terrible tragedy that happened just before we all arrived. During preparations for the July 4th festivities, several local teens were killed in a horrible car accident. The town went into mourning and 4th festivities were all cancelled. They could have also cancelled the events they were catering for us, but they did not. I am amazed at the people’s tenacity and strength, and watching the children dancing for us tonight I thought about community and pulling together to create something wonderful for visitors, while silently mourning such a huge loss. What a wonderful town. As a fishing village, I am sure they are not strangers to sudden tragedies like this one – but these kids were so young, it is just heartbreaking.
Tonight the dinner was amazing – a true Norwegian smorgesbord. The King salmon was one of the hits, perfectly prepared and totally delicious. However, my favourite dish was the fish cakes. Tiny little balls of fishy nutmegy perfection. I almost passed over dessert for another plate of them. It is one of the reasons I bought the cook book! All the food was produced by the locals – I talked to Liv, as she was working ( pronounced leev not Liv…) and she took a minute out of what she was doing to point out her ancestors… grandparents, aunts, etc… in a large photograph taken way back in the 20th century.. ( LOL SUCH a long time ago!)… everyone in appropriate costume for the culture, looking beautiful and happy… so much pride in their heritage.
After dinner the local dance group, made up of youngsters in their early teens, all wearing special attire specially created for Petersburgh… entertained us with traditional dances. Eventually they had most of us all up doing the walking dance, which entailed some sort of snake like walk through the hall and outside, then back inside and doing other intricate patterns. We ended up bowing to the crowd and feeling very pleased with ourselves that no one tripped on another’s feet. There was also a clapping dance that required concentration and synchronicity, so I wisely stayed away from that one.
A beautiful evening, and when we left the hall to return to our boats we discovered that all the clouds had departed and the sky was a clear gold, the air was still, the seas were calm..and it looks like all the fishboats have left in the hopes of an opening, leaving the marinas quiet and empty.
All you hear is the occasional firework being set off , some laughter from faraway boats, and the huffing and chuffing of the local sea lion who comes in to feed on the absolutely massive herring that school around us.
Tomorrow, I am breaking out the herring rig and catching us some bait! After the talk about catching fish vs fishing for fish, I am stoked and ready to go!