Fishermen’s Terminal, Seattle
Fishing has supported human life for thousands of years.
Primitive fishing in streams and lakes was a placid activity, but large scale commercial fishing, such as is done by the fishing fleet based here at Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle is very arduous and very dangerous. The daily floral tributes at the base of this monument in memory of fishermen lost at sea attest to the heavy price the crews of the fishing vessels sometimes pay to bring us our sustenance from the sea.
The names of some of the more recently lost fishermen are written on this survival suit.
You may have watched a very dramatic documentary “The Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel. This is the ship featured in that tv show. It is open to visitors so I’ll take you on board later on in this narrative.
Every year on the last weekend of September the Fishermen’s Terminal hosts the Fall Fishermen’s Festival to honor those hardworking, courageous men and women who sail out from here into the Gulf of Alaska, some as far as the Bering Sea and to give the public an opportunity to visit their boats, see the nets and gear they use and enjoy some of their catch.
This is the Ballard Bridge which I often drive across,
or where I sometimes sit in my car with varying degrees of impatience when it is raised to let a ship through. At those times I get a glimpse of the vast fishing fleet down below.
Today I am down here at the Festival getting a close-up view of the boats.
Imagine, as the fishing vessels set out down this ship canal to Puget Sound and out to the Pacific, at certain months of the year there are mature salmon swimming below them in the opposite direction on their way to the streams where they were born three years or so earlier to spawn a new generation. At times, the hatchlings will be swimming in the same direction as the boats out to sea to become their catch later on.
Let’s go to the Fishermen’s Festival: (Click on picture for slideshow)