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.

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

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


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CIMG6112Closest I got to harpoon throwing.

CIMG6110Harpoon throwing to hit the black outline of the whale.

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CIMG6092One of the competing whale crews.


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


CIMG6087Construction was finished a week before I arrived.

CIMG6086Seal covered boats called an Umiaq on transportation sled.