485-Whaling Festival – Barrow, AK

It always seems to work out this way. I had a problem with my ticket and had to stay over another day after teaching at the college. I brought work just in case I had to stay in my hotel room. But as it always happens when I travel to exotic places, I happen to be there on a special day. This was the first day of the festival for the new whaling season. The city held a parade, had Native whaling games and special events all over town. Somehow my travel magic always works. I should figure out how to bottle it and sell it. Here are some shots of the Native games and events.

[googlemap width=”620″ height=”480″ src=”https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Barrow,+AK&hl=en&ll=71.290554,-156.788592&spn=0.008783,0.02914&sll=37.269174,-119.306607&sspn=11.149065,14.919434&oq=barrow&t=h&hnear=Barrow,+North+Slope,+Alaska&z=15″]

CIMG6121Avataqpak race. These are the floats that they spear into the whale.

[vimeo id=”81307970″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

CIMG6120

CIMG6118Umiaq race. Tow your sled 100 yards, tie on your boat and tow it back.

CIMG6117

[vimeo id=”81307972″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

CIMG6115

CIMG6112Closest I got to harpoon throwing.

CIMG6110Harpoon throwing to hit the black outline of the whale.

[vimeo id=”81308201″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

CIMG6101

CIMG6098

[vimeo id=”81307969″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

CIMG6093

CIMG6092One of the competing whale crews.

CIMG6090

CIMG6089Getting ready for the 2X4 race. Two boards – four runners.

CIMG6088

CIMG6087Construction was finished a week before I arrived.

CIMG6086Seal covered boats called an Umiaq on transportation sled.