Troll fisherman’s poem for the Fairweather Grounds, SE Alaska

Here’s what it’s like on the Fairweather Ground when the air is crisp and clear: Forty miles offshore and the foothills disappear. I have no sense of distance, could I extend my hand and seek, To feel the wispy vapors that crown the lofty peak? Or to touch the sculptured snow fields and chasms bold and abrupt, Where sharp and stern in black contrast the jagged rocks erupt. It’s hard to take my eyes away, but there are fish to be caught: Can it be true this land was once for sale and was for seven million dollars bought? But yet I think this was still too great a monetary fee, Because I’ve paid not a cent, and it belongs to me.

* I found this poem in SPC Member Francis Caldwell’s Land of the Ocean Mists:The Wild Ocean Coast West of Glacier BayThe poem is reprinted in the book with permission from Harrison “Smitty” Smith of the troller Sea Miner who, on the day he wrote it, must certainly have been under the spell of the Fairweather Grounds that Caldwell writes about. This is an outstanding history of the Fairweather Grounds, Lituya Bay and Southeast Alaska in general told from the point of view of a troll fisherman.

Wonderful book by an SPC fisherman member.