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moving to Alaska?

crotalus

Well-known member
A question for you guys and gals who made the move to Alaska. How and why did you do it? I've decided that I want to move to Alaska, not permanently, maybe 1-3 years, to work on a fishing boat. In particular, I'd like to be a deckhand on a sport charter boat. I love fishing more than anything else, obviously love to hunt as well, and I need to get the hell out of California. I want to do this while I'm young and strong (22yrs) and have no real ties to keep me from doing so. I'm just curious to know how others started out, making the move, finding work, and a place to stay.
Thanks
Eric
 

waldo2382

Well-known member
I moved here a little over 3 years ago from Southern California and don't intend on moving back. My first time was on a fishing trip with my dad when I graduated high school. In California I worked on charter boats for a long time, everything from half day to long range. What brought me up here for good was work. I worked on oil tankers going from Valdez to Nikiski (Kenai) and we'd anchor in hang out in Homer sometimes. I made friends from customers that came fishing on the charter boats in San Diego and friends that I went to college with. I happened to get off the tanker one time with a healthy bank account and decided, what the heck.

A lot of people come up here as seasonal workers for charter boats. It would be best to line up a job before you come up here. Pretty much just call all the charter boats and see if they will need a deckhand. Look at the coastal towns like Kodiak, Homer, Valdez, Juneau, or Ketchikan, or even some of the lodges in South East.
As for lodging, well if you work at a lodge, the housing is provided. If you work on a charter boat in a city, you'll have to find a place. Some areas are more expensive than others. Some camp out, some luck out and rent a room at someone's house.
One expectation you should have, just because I have heard it way too often from people that come up here for work, is that don't hold your breath for a woman. There's lots of competition for them and it can be frustrating since they all seem to be taken. It's wierd that way and even though people say they knew what they are getting into, they can't help but have a little breakdown.
With that all said, it should be easy to find work up here on charter fishing boats especially if you have experience. Most of the people I know that come up here haven't even seen the ocean and begin working on the charter boats. Good luck
 

crotalus

Well-known member
Thanks Waldo, How did you move all of your stuff up there? Did you make the long drive? How is finding work in the winter? I'd imagine that competition for indoor jobs gets pretty thick.
 

waldo2382

Well-known member
I packed up everthing I could into my truck and drove to Bellingham, Washington and caught a ferry that took me from Washington to Juneau, layover to catch a different ferry and then from Juneau to Whittier. One reason is that I brought up a bunch of guns with me including handguns and didn't want to deal with the hassle of driving through Canada. My dad also wanted to go and thought the ferry would be fun.

As for winter in the work, it is there, depends on how picky you want to be. For local commercial fishing, there is gray cod to catch. Chances of working on a crab boat are slim, but possible. Folding blankets at the local motels, work at the grocery store, there are jobs out there and might as well take one that is readily available until something better comes up.
If you have a skill like carpentry, plumming, electrical, construction, even better. Some remote lodges even hire (I use that term loosely, more of free rent) a person too look after the place in the winter. While you'd be by yourself for the most part, trapping opportunity is usually pretty good for furs, or at least something to keep you occupied, and feel like there's a purpose in the middle of the woods.
 

TagEmBagEm

Well-known member
My sister moved there 12 years ago from Northern California and never came back.

I get the opportunity to visit her and their family every so often and I can't say that I blame her. Summer up there is incredible, less the mosquitos. Winters can be brutal, but they're pretty much as advertised.

I second Waldo on the broads. We went out one night in Anchorage to celebrate a succesful halibut excursion and the pickings were pretty slim. I mean obviously it could have been a slow night. It's just my observation on one particular ocassion.

I guess what you have to ask yourself is... Do I have the balls? Lol. You're right. You're young. You're strong. You have ambition. You have desire. You don't have any ties to hold you down. Is this what I really want to do? So, you go up there, and it doesn't work out. You can always come back. And when you do, how many people do you know can say they tried?

Alaska is the great frontier. One of the last places on earth where they live off of the land. The sea determines their well being. And the opportunity to hunt is incredible. I wish I had the sack. But Alas, I have too many commitments.
 

crotalus

Well-known member
Tag-em, you said it. That's just how I feel, I've got to get out and adventure while I still can. As far as broads, I've got a good one here and she can come visit me in the summer. Her dad actually owns a vacation house in Wasilla, which would be perfect for me to rent, but thats too far from the ocean.
 

soupr

Well-known member
I have a lot of family living up there. Mainly western Alaska (Dillingham). If you would like I could ask around up there and see if there are any opportunities for work. Western Alaska is pretty darn remote compared to Anchorage or Juneau and work and the females are far and few between but it is just amazing out there.
 

crotalus

Well-known member
Thanks Soupr, but I was thinking more around south east alaska, Seward, homer, Sitka, and such. Western alaska might be a little too remote, even for me.
 

m_freeman

Well-known member
from an older guy tied down with responsibilities all I can say is *do it* at your age no worries. If it was me, after I got settled in I would place online ads for platonic female friend that really enjoyed the frontier have her and girlfriends come up visit for a few weeks, you might find a woman that likes the adventure as much as you do and could lead to a great relationship. Wouldn't that be awesome, a hottie GF that likes the outdoors in AK.

btw I did a 3 week car tent camping trip through the interior and let me tell you if you like fishing and hunting you will be in heaven up there.
 

Redneck75

Well-known member
Thanks Soupr, but I was thinking more around south east alaska, Seward, homer, Sitka, and such. Western alaska might be a little too remote, even for me.
South-East Alaska...Sitka, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Juneau...etc.

Seward, Homer are on the Kenai Peninsula...nowhere near South-East Alaska. San Diego is Closer to Seattle than Seward is to Sitka.

Different lifestyle, different weather, different method of getting there. If you're moving to South-East Alaska you'll have to take the ferry out of Bellingham to get there as there's no roads to the towns...you really can't drive to them at all. If you're heading to Seward or Homer, you can make the drive up from the lower 48. I've driven the Alaskan Highway a few times. It's a great drive. It's a bitch in some ways but the best scenery in the world. When this active duty thing gets finished here in 4 years, I will certainly be making the drive back home again.
 

Bluenote

Member
Don't drive through Canada if you're bringing a bunch of firearms with you. Just take the ferry. And this is all rather dependent on how far out you wish to live and how many people you want to put up with. South of Los Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula there are a great many people ( for Alaska) , southeast ALaska along the maritime highway from Ketchikan on up is getting a lot of growth and people , the area from Dillingham ,Aniak ,Naknek ( I just put in an offer on a bush place north and east of Naknek) is an option for those who wish to live 'out' as are places in the interior above Tok , the area north of Lake Louise between the Parks hwy and the Richardson is also an option , I lived up there and trapped the area north of Lake Louise and west of Paxson Lake for a few years.

Anchorage itself is just San Jose with worse weather and a LOT fewer women , if you plan to live bush then plan VERY carefully , put your supply list together and then double it , and make damn double sure you take things like a spare axe.maul and handles for 'em , if you're in a roadless area get used to the fact you might not be getting 'out' for months at a time.

Bush living is a lot of hard work to survive , but if you have the affinity it's very satisfying. Be aware that Alaska is beautiful and pristine place ( comparitively speaking) but she can also be a VERY harsh mistress that can turn insanely vicious on you for a very minor mistake.

Fishing? Don't count on getting on a crabber , and nowadays you'll be stuck out in Dutch to get a berth , you won't get in on a seiner , longlineing is very rough and dangerous work , look for a deckhand spot on a sport fisher or a troller.


B.
 

fossilman

Well-known member
Lots of work on the "Slope"....Two weeks on,one week off.....Brother has been in Alaska for 11 years and loves it.
 


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