Once There Were Thousands. Now There Is One.
For 66 years, the salmon of Bristol Bay were harvested from sailboats -- double-ended wooden gillnetters manned by two rugged fishermen. That all changed in 1951 when the Territory of Alaska allowed powered boats to fish the waters of Bristol Bay.
To commemorate this transition -- and our bounty of wild salmon and the longevity of the Bristol Bay commercial fishery -- the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust will sail one of the last remaining seaworthy Bristol Bay double-ended sailboats from Homer back to Bristol Bay. Most of the sailboats are gone, a few remain in museums and even fewer remain as operating vessels. Those few that may still be on the water have been heavily modified. There is one, however, that remains in its original sailing configuration, a Libby, McNeil & Libby double-ender dating to the 1930's in Homer, Alaska.
We need your support to make some minor repairs and to cover the costs of the expedition from Homer to Bristol Bay. We will sail from Homer during SeaFair the 4th of July weekend, 2020. The course will reverse the way the boat came, across Cook Inlet, over the Pile Bay Road, down Lake Illiamna and the Kvichak River to Bristol Bay, arriving in Naknek for Fishtival, near the end of the commercial season. We will stop in communties along the way to share the celebration, and to gather stories which we'll compile in a published booklet about the journey.
This project is part of the Cannery History Project celebrating the cannery workers from Alaska and around the world who made the Bristol Bay Commercial Fishery the most productive on earth.
Help Us Make History!
You can help make this important journey possible, with a donation towards this project. You can donate by check to: Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, Sailing Back to the Bay Project, PO Box 1388, Dillingham, AK 99576.
Or, to pay by credit card, click on the following website: www.secure.donationpay.org/bristolbaylandtrust
And be sure you mark the Sailing Back to the Bay Project!