Martha K: Newsworthy Old Fishing Boat in Sitka, Alaska
Note: click photo for a larger view.
I must confess, I know absolutely nothing about ocean-going fishing boats.
I was raised in the midwest, and the only boats I knew of were the metal 4-man fishing boats my grandfather owned. I want to say it had an Evinrude engine of some sort on the back, and my grandfather, grandmother, and my brother and I would drag our lures around the lake for most of the day. We’d come home with buckets full of sun bass, blue gills, an assortment of small mouth bass, and if we were lucky, a nice walleye.
I have very fond memories of my grandmother pan-frying those blue gills in butter in her cast iron skillet. YUM!
Anyway, here I am in Sitka, Alaska and the Martha K steps in front of my camera looking like she’d seen better days, but had perhaps a few stories to tell.
I poked around the Internet a bit, and found this June 1955 article from the Natural History Magazine which seemed to be talking about the Martha K in my photograph, entitled: Last of the Tlingit Sealers. To read the article, click here.
I found it interesting that this ole gal was telling me stories from 1955. I wonder what other stories she has to tell?
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Think you had sent me this article….I worked on this boat in the 92 ‘ s when our skipper Herman Kitka was the oldest fisherman @ that time in the U.S….86 yrs old
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I was on a flight to Sitka and met Mr,Kitka. He ask why I was going to Sitka? I explained I was an international Yacht Chef and have been coming to Sitka for 7 years working on Private Yachts and Fishing, Hunting Charters. He asked me if I wanted a boat, and he would give it to me free of charge, I just chuckled and thought to myself I think this ole boy was crazy, a few days later I bumped into him walking down Katlian St. He said hey chef the offer still stands and the boat was famous. He mentioned Martha K. told me where the key was and the boat is at Crescent Harbor.
Wow! that’s my Harbor. My son came to Sitka after his chef job in Cold Bay Alaska the next day and I told him about the offer. He said lets take a look. We did and that day started to clean the interior. After 3 or 4 days of cleaning, I had a question for Mr. Kitka. I called his # and his wife answered, I told her what was going on and she came to the harbor and took the key. oh well, easy come easy go, we were going to turn it into an Air B&B. She does have a certain Sex Appeal. Chat soon Chef Jay Woosley
We turned this boat into a house boat back in the 90 bought from French creek marina which we lived on for quite some time in the queen charlottes great boat many memories!
Wow. Thanks for sharing!