Unalaska (Dutch Harbor)

  • Unalaska (Dutch Harbor)

We docked in Unalaska, Alaska which is known as “Ounalashka” (“near the peninsula”) by the Unangan, who were the first to inhabit the island. The Aleut or Unangan have lived in the area for thousands of years, and over 24 of their settlements existed on Unalaska before they made contact with Russians. Today, the area is the largest fishery in the United States by volume caught. We began the day with a Ship t’ Shore show at the Unalaska Jr/Sr High School, and we performed and spoke of the Canada C3 expedition to over 200 students and community members! We then visited the Museum of the Aleutians, which aims to collect, preserve and share the history of Unalaska and the Aleutian Islands region. The museum’s collections include photographic archives, natural science, and artefacts from World War 2. In 1942, Unalaska was bombed by Japanese forces in World War Two’s Battle of Dutch Harbour, and today, remnants of the Dutch Harbour naval operating base are still present, including former bunkers spread out around the city. After our museum visit, we headed for a hike, which gave us a spectacular view of the harbor and the town. We returned to the ship in the early evening, and received a visit from Tom Robinson, Tribal president of the Qawalangin tribe in Unalaska, as well as his fellow council members. As we were leaving, we spotted whales off of the bow of the ship! Thank you to the people of Unalaska for your warm welcome.